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HALF-HOURS IN THE GREEN LANES: a Book for a Country Stroll. 

Illustrated with 300 Woodcuts. Fifth Edition. Crown 8vo., cloth, 4?. 

HALF-HOURS AT THE SEA-SIDE, or Recreations with Marine Objects. 

Illustrated with 150 Woodcuts. Fourth Edition. Crown 8vo., cloth, 4.C 

GEOLOGICAL STORIES: a Series of Autobiographies in Chronological 

ORDER. Fourth Edition. Illustrated with 175 Woodcuts. Crown 8vo., cloth, 4-f. 

THE AQUARIUM; its Inhabitants, Structure, and Management. 

Illustrated with 239 Woodcuts. Second Edition. Crown 8vo., cloth extra, 6s. 

FLOWERS; their Origin, Shapes, Perfumes, and Colours. Illustrated 

with 32 Coloured Figures by Sowerby, and 161 Woodcuts. Second Edition. Crown 8vo., 
cloth, "js. 6d. 


OBJECTS. Edited by J. E. TAYLOR, F.L.S., F.G.S. Contents: Geological Specimens 
by the Editor ; Bones, by E. F. Elwin ; Birds' Eggs, by T. Southwell, F.Z.S. ; Butterflies 
and Moths, by Dr. Knaggs ; Beetles, by E. C. Rye, F.Z.S. ; Hymenoptera, by J. B. 
Bridgman ; Fresh-water Shells, by Professor Ralph Tate, F.G.S. ; Flowering Plants, by 
James Britten, F.L.S. ; Mosses, by Dr. Braithwaite, F.L.S. ; Grastes, by Professor Buckman ; 
Fungi, by Worthington G. Smith, F.L.S. j Lichens, by Rev. James Crombie, F.L.S.; 
Seaweeds, by W. H. Grattan. Illustrated with numerous Woodcuts. Crown Svo., cloth, 
3^. 6d. 








J. E. TAYLOR, Ph.D., F.L.S., F.G.S., F.R.G.S.I., &c. 







lOS^ <f 



IFTEEN years is a long period in the life of a 
man, and a relatively longer one in the existence 
of a magazine. It is time enough to have given 
a fair trial to any scheme, or to have proved 
a raison d'etre for any institution. We are re- 
minded of this in prefacing a few lines to the 
Fifteenth Volume of SCIENCE-GOSSIP. And it 
is with no small pleasure, as we take a mental 
review of our situation, that we find ourselves 

surrounded with more numerous friends, and even abler 

contributors than ever. 

The domain of Natural Science extends in widening 
circles every year. New and more complex organic relation- 
ships are discovered the more we look for them. We bear 
the highest of unconscious testimony to the Supreme Intelli- 
gence which governs the universe, when we require the facts 
of Science to be subordinated to intelligible laws ; and 
there is a higher mental pleasure in finding out the laws 
which govern these facts, than in discovering the facts them- 
selves. But as the circle of the Known increases in its 
circumference, we perceive the larger periphery of the Un- 
known which circumscribes it. Within this infinitely little 
circle, there is light as in the land of Goshen, but outside, darkness 
like that of Egypt ! The attitude of the scientific mind, therefore, 
ought more than ever to be the reverse of dictatorial. 

During the past year we have opened our columns to the dis- 
cussion of one of the most interesting of the many biological side-paths 


which modern investigation has opened out, the question of " In- 
telligence in Man and Animals." We have been pleased with the 
ability with which the subject has been discussed from the evolutional, 
as well as the anti-evolutional sides, and not less so with the good 
temper and courtesy displayed by the partisans. Twenty years ago 
this mutual forbearance would have been impossible, and a discussion 
like this would have broken up into personal recriminations. We must 
now, however, close the debate. 

The crowded state of our " Exchange " columns shows how zealously 
amateurs are working in their special departments of natural history ; 
and the various and oftentimes queer questions put to us in the 
columns devoted to that purpose, indicate the number of recruits who 
are joining the ranks. We hope that the " List of Naturalists " which 
appears in the present number will prove of great practical advantage 
to young and ardent workers. 

We look forward to a more active year than ever. Our editorial 
box is well filled with articles — technical, descriptive, and popular, 
on every branch of Natural Science. We shall do our best to make 
the volume for 1880 more attractive in every way than any of 
its predecessors. And, whilst thanking our numerous, zealous, and 
hearty friends for the many kindnesses we have received at their 
hands, we wish to all our contributors and subscribers, " A Happy 
New Year ! " 


Amceba, a peculiar Dacty^.losplucrium 

vitreum, 335 
Ananchytes ovata, 181 
Argynnis Adippe, Broken Scale from, 37 

Bear, Bkown, 224, 225 

Boletus flavus, 5 

Boulder Clay, Section of, at Leith, 33 

Brain of Mole-Cricket, 104 

Brain of Formica rufa, 104 

Brain of Cockroach, '104, 107 

Butterflies in New Forest, 124, 125 

Buzzard, the (Buteo vulgaris}, 57 

Calceolaria, a Monstrous, 41 
Calceolaria, Malformation in Flowers of, 

Calyptostoma Hardy i, Nymph of, 249 
Camera lucida, the Hofmann, 62 
Cardamine hirsuta, 128 
Cardamine sylvatica, 123 
Cephalopoda of Chalk Marl, Isle of Wight, 

204, 205 
Cidaris coronata, Shell of, 180, 181 
Comfrey (Symphytum officinale), 148 
Compressorium, Sketch showing Details 

of, 185 
Cormorant ( Phalacrocorax carbo), 196 
Cormorant, Crested, 196 

D&dalca qucrcina and unicolor, 4, 5 
Dissecting-table, Details of, 200 

Echinus in Aquarium, 1S0 
Echinus esculenta, 180 
Echinus miliaris, 84, 85 
Electrical Cloud Masses, 153 
Electrical Stratus, 230 
Euglena viridis, 184, 231 

Fenestella filebeia, 52, 53, 248 

Filago canescens, 129 

Filago spathulata, 129 

Fistulina hepatica, 5 

Forget-me-not, the (Myosotis palustris), 

Fossil Corals, Varieties of, 272, 273/274 
Fossils, Cambro-Silurian and Silurian, 12 
Fossils, Upper Carboniferous, in Ireland, 

Foxglove, the Common Monstrosity in, 16 
Free Crinoids, Extinct Species of, 156, 157 
Fungi in Epping Forest, Varieties of, 76, 


Galerites albogalcrus, 181 

Guillemot, the Common (Uria troile), 

Guillemot, the Black (Uria grylle), 176 

Hemiptera, a rare, 9 

Herb-Robert (Geranium R obcrtianum ) , 

Horsehair, Arrangement of Pigment in, 37 
House-fly (Musca domestica), 8 
House-fly, Chrysalis of, 8 
House-fly, Egg of, 8 
House-fly, Maggot of, 8 
Hydrophilus piceus Depositing Eggs, 132 
Hydrophilus piceus, Nest of, 133 
Hydrophilus piceus, Larvae of Head of, 

Hydrophilus piceus, Larva; of Tail of, 133 

Improved Live-Box, 38 

Kestrel, the (Falco tinnunculus), 57 
Kite, the, 56 

Lamella, various, 4 

Lenzites betulina, 4 

Lincolnshire Marshland, Map of, 244 

Magnified Pollen Grains, 187 
Merlin (Falco eesalonj, the, 268 
Micraster, the Common, 181 
Micro-fungi Slides, Mode of Labelling, 4 
Microscopical Apparatus, 32 
Mite of Gamasus on Humble Bee, 81 
Mite, the Didactyle Tarsus of, 250 

Pal^ocorvne, Diagram of, 52, 53 

Pala?ocoryne radiata, 248 

Palasocoryne, Specimens of, 228 

Parasites on Fish, 79 

Pigment Cells in Lepidoptera, 36 

Polecat, the (Bustela putorius), 59 

Po 'ypora tuberculata, 52, 53 

Polyporus versicolor, 5 

Puffin, the, (Fratercula arctica), *75 

Ranatra linealis, 252, 253 
Rhsetic Beds at Penarth, 100 
Rotifer, a New, 200 

Scolopendrium vulgare, 209 

Section of Geological Strata of Sheffield, 

Section of Strata from Cardiff to Caerphilly, 

Simla synddctyla, 28, 29 
Slides, Air Bubbles in, Pump for Removing, 

Slides, Improved Centerer for, 160 
Sparmaunia Africaiia, 60, 61 
Sparrowhawk ( Accipitcrfringillarius), 56 
Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus), 220 

Tube for Preserving Larvae, 257 

Water Crowfoot, Varieties o~, 108, 

109, no 
White Dead-Nettle, the (Lamium album), 



Bv the Rev. S. BARBER, F.M.S. 

Rx.0} TlfcfcwT^^P" ^ I S phenomenon, 
which is not very 
unusual in thundery 
weather, when the 
storm is gathering 
or passing away, is 
interesting as being 
indicative of the 
extent to which the 
electrical masses af- 
fect the contiguous 
atmosphere. When 
highly charged piles 
of cumulus are seen 
drifting in the breeze, 
at no great distance, 
and exhibiting rifts 
and chasms and 
mountain crags 

about their precipi- 
tous sides and sunny peaks, — wreaths of mist and 
vapoury bands may be seen floating athwart the dark 
sides and rolling upwards toward their summits. This 
foggy vapour holds off from the rock-like sides of the 
towering cumulus (with which it refuses to coalesce), 
and gives to the latter an appearance of great solidity. 
Often maintaining its isolation, it spreads over the 
topmost crests in a thin, loose strip of vapour, and, 
bending down the opposite side of the cloud, forms a 
complete detached arch. At times this arch has the 
appearance of being highly condensed ; and, allowing 
for the height of the species of cumulus to which 
it attaches itself, the intervening space of clear sky 
between the two clouds must often be of considerable 

There can be little doubt that the cap or arch 
formed in this way has a form which corresponds to 
that of the larger cloud. At times, however, the 
appearance may be one of perspective only, as may 
be seen when there are short strips or thin lines of 
No. 169. 

condensed stratus lying among the cumulus. These, 
particularly in unsettled weather, have their ends 
sometimes bent downwards, as if attracted by the 
earth.* In passing, we may say that this latter form 
of cloud (which is closely allied to the cumulus- 
" cap ") is seen generally before rain storms, and 
often precedes violent squalls. It is seen occasionally 
in parallel bands. 

Whether the form of the vapour which crowns the 
summit of a cloud-pile results from the radiation of 
electrical force acting at a certain distance, or is 
merely the effect of condensation caused by the chill- 
ing effect of the cloud mass on the surrounding air, 
is an interesting though a difficult matter to determine ; 
the relations existing between different masses of 
cloud not having yet much engaged the attention of 
meteorologists. Even when these masses are similar 
in species there is much difficulty ; but the difficulty 
is greater when those species are different, e.g., those 
of stratus and cumulus, as in our present subject. 

It has been remarked by Maury and other writers, 
that the sudden formation of hail or snow must often 
be attended by a noticeable increase in the temperature 
of the surrounding atmosphere, and the fact has been 
so recorded. This increase of temperature is in agree- 
ment with, and indeed corroborates, the mechanical 
theory of heat so fully enunciated by Tyndall in his 
interesting work on "Heat as a Mode of Motion." 
The part which electricity plays in regard to the 
origin of the stifling and oppressivef atmosphere that 
precedes thunderstorms must be very powerful, 
whether acting directly or indirectly. 

It has been noticed that the passage of a large 
bank of cirro-cumulus will often cause a remarkable 
dropping of the temperature of the air beneath ; and 
(allowing this to be true) we can only account for the 

* Probably it is merely a more condensed variety of that 
which forms our present subject. 

T There can be little doubt, however, that the sensations 
many persons experience before a storm result from the direct 
action of the electricity in the body. 


fact by supposing that the particles of the cloud are 
in the transition state — changing rapidly from the 
condition of half-fiozen water into the vaporous state 
of cumulus or nimbus. We say half frozen, for the 
cirro-cumulus scarcely ever exhibits, like the various 
forms of cirrus, prismatic effects, which it undoubtedly 
would do if it were composed of fully formed ice- 
crystals. If then, we allow the accuracy of the ob- 
servations recorded, as to the chilling effect of this 
cloud on the atmosphere beneath, we may also be 
justified in inferring that, for the most part, it is a 
transition cloud between cirrus (the proper ice-cloud) 
mid some other more -watery species, e.g., cumulus or 
stratus, rather than an intermediate stage between 
these and the cirrus itself. 

(To be continued.) 


I THOUGHT that an account of some of the 
spring plants to be found on the hills near Otford 
and Kemsing might be interesting to the readers of 
Science-Gossip who had never botanised in this 
locality. My first intention was to call this article 
"A Walk on the Chalk," but thinking the title 
might mislead, I changed it — "A Walk on the 
Chalk" generally being considered in London "a 
milk walk !" 

Three of us started from Otford platform — it can 
scarcely bear the dignified title of station — at about 
eleven o'clock in the morning, walked through the 
village, admired the old castle (where, by the bye, 
a blacksmith has erected a smithy), and then through 
a gate, over a ploughed field, up the hill ; what 
with the hill and the field, it rather tired us, it 
being extremely warm. Halfway up, on a 
bank, we espied Ophrys mnscifera and Aceras anthro- 
pophora ; a little higher up two or three clumps of 
Cynoglossum officinale; on the brow, under the trees, 
we passed Daphne Laureola and Atropa Belladonna, 
both in profusion ; then we caught sight of a fine 
spike of Orchis fusca, which amply repaid our blow 
up the hill. A short distance on we found Neottia 
Nidus-Avis, its brown stalk and flowers exactly match- 
ing the colour of the ground. Down the hill again 
more fusca, then a large specimen of Habenaria chlo- 
rantha, measuring about 28 inches in height, and 
a quantity of Habenaria bifolia a little farther on. 
Out of the wood, and on to a grassy knoll, where we 
had a fine view of Kent stretching for miles and 
fading away into the Sussex hills. Just a bit of 
lunch ; then Ave turned into a copse on our right ; here 
we found Cephalanthera grandiflora in full bloom and 
plenty of it ; out again, down a disused chalk-pit ; 
here growing were Helianthemum vulgare, Hippocrepis 
comosa, Pyrus aria, Viburnum Lantana, and a few 
stray specimens of Aceras anthropophora. Left here 
and walked down to the small village of Kemsing, 

noticed the quaint old church, which has lancet-shaped 
windows, and, if report says true, is built on an old 
Roman temple ; next came to St. Edith's Well, which 
originated, not from the chalk hills, as we profane 
moderns think, but from St. Thomas a. Becket's staff; 
he, good man, travelling by the pilgrims' way, feeling 
thirsty, stopped at Kemsing and struck his staff into 
the ground, from whence, we are told, gushed the 
water. After taking a good draught from it, and 
gathering some of the Asplenium Ruta-muraria, 
which grows on the wall built round, we set out on 
the dusty road. Before we got far, one of my friends 
drew my attention to the curious laciniated variety 
of Elder (Sambucus nigra laciniatd) growing in the 
hedge ; further on we came to a specimen or two 
of Lathma squamaria, which the road-man had 
tried hard to destroy by throwing a heap of stones 
on it ; but no, he had left three untouched, all 
with seeds ; one we gathered, and left two. Turned 
back a little way, and down a lane past an old 
farmhouse, where we found on a wall Ceterach 
officinarum — this, by the way, a rarity in Kent. We 
must scarcely mention a closer description of the 
locality than this, or the herb collectors would be 
after them, but enough to say, if any botanist 
searches for it, he will be rewarded. Over a field, and 
narrowly escaping wet feet by plumping into a boggy 
ditch, out into a pretty country lane ; we walked down 
here for about half a mile, and then came to the 
(L. C. & D.) railway bridge, under which we pass, 
and into the meadow on the left-hand side ; here 
we gathered Orchis mascula, latifolia, and Morio, 
also Valeriana dioica by the side of the ditch. Out 
into the road, and a little higher up we found a beauti- 
fully variegated variety of Sambucus nigra, all the 
veins being surrounded with a- broad cream-colour 

Up the short but steepish hill, the road delight- 
fully overshadowed with the" green foliage, and re- 
lieved here and there by a bit of blue sky ; then on 
to the Chart (Seal) ; here Junipcrus communis is 
very common ; among the fir-trees we found Con- 
vallaria majalis flowering very sparingly ; this, I 
believe, is the characteristic of the uncultivated 
plant Lomaria spicant, of course growing abundantly 

On looking at the time, we find it to be five o'clock. 
And now we are close to Ightham ; here I part with 
my friends and make my way through Inghatch (here 
by the roadside is a clump of Lamium macula tu/u), 
and on to Plaxtol, but go a bit out of my way to the 
copse at the bottom of Sheet Hill, where Paris quad- 
rifolia and Ophioglossum vulgatum grow, the first- 
named plant being rather a local one in Kent. Gather- 
ing a specimen or two of each, I walk on to Plaxtol, 
and thence home, after having spent a most enjoyable 

Hadlvw. F. W. E. S. 



AS the seasons of the year revolve in rapid succes- 
' sion, each, and all, bring with them their own 
particular work and studies ^for the microscopist. 
When, as Horace puts it, " Solvitur acris litems grata 
vice veris et luivo/ii," the ardent microscopist begins 
to prepare for his early campaign, over hill, through 
dale, and in the woodlands ; again, when summer 
bursts upon him with all her warmth and beauty, he 
plunges deeper than ever in scientific research for 
objects dear to his own particular branch of study ; 
autumn, too, finds him busily engaged wandering 
through fields lit up with the brilliance of the golden 
grain soon to be ingathered. At last comes winter, 
"clothed all in frieze," this is without doubt the 
season of all others when study and manipulation of 
his objects collected in the bright seasons are brought 
more particularly into play. Within his study, with 
his microscope and objects at hand, cheered by the 
friendly blaze and warmth of his own fireside, he feels 
that the dull dark months, as some consider them, are 
to him anything but dark and dreary. To such a 
time we have once more come, and to each and all it 
has brought its delightful work. My own particular 
study throughout this year has been the micro-fungi, 
those minute organisms which live on other plants. 
It is my intention therefore in this short paper to 
put before my readers, as briefly and as concisely as 
possible, a few brief hints, culled from my own ex- 
perience, as to the best and the easiest way of 
mounting those micro-fungi for which we have made 
so diligent a search throughout the spring, summer, 
and autumn months, with, let us hope, plenty of 
success. I do not intend to enter into the minutiae of 
collecting the fungi and classing them. To those who 
at present have not taken to this most interesting 
branch of microscopical research, let me recommend 
a book which will give them all the knowledge on the 
head of collecting and classing they will require ; I 
mean " Rust, Smut, Mildew, and Mould," by 
Dr. M. C. Cooke, a book to whose value and excel- 
lence all who, like myself, have used it and (let us 
hope) profited by it will, I feel sure, bear witness. 

The mounting of micro-fungi is very simple, and 
may be classed under two heads : — 

1st. Those specimens which may be mounted dry. 

2ndly. Those which require some medium in which 
to be preserved. 

And, firstly, of the apparatus required for dry 
mounting : — 

1. Plenty of glass slips with ground edges.* 

2. Thin glass circles of various sizes. 

3. Three or four dozen vulcanite haiL,. 

4. Sharp fine scissors (a pair). 

• *, Gr ° und ed S e sli ps, though more expensive, are the cheaper 
in the long-run, as they are neater and of smaller compass. 

5. Bottle of white-lead varnish. 

6. Turn-table and camel's-hair brushes. 

All these things being at hand, we may proceed to 
manipulate our fungi. Of course, the great Order 
from which so many dry mounts are taken are the 
/Ecidiacei ; we will suppose that we are about to 
mount a specimen of M. Tussilaginis. First, take the 
leaf on which the specimen is located, and with the 
fine scissors cut round the cluster-cup, leaving suffi- 
cient leaf to fill up the vulcanite cell. Having taken 
care that the specimen lies perfectly flat in the field, 
place a ring of white varnish round the top of the cell, 
and on this lay the thin glass cover. After allowing 
time for the varnish to dry, run two or more rings 
round, and neatly, as a finish, one of green in the 
centre of the white varnish. The slide having been 
duly labelled is then fit to place in your cabinet. No- 
thing is easier than this method, yet, like everything 
else, the novice may fail in his attempts to succeed, 
and after mounting a specimen iridium in the way 
above described, he will perhaps in a day or two be 
surprised to find he is unable to distinctly see his 
object through a dimness which appears to have come 
over the thin glass. This is caused by the object not 
having been properly dried. Great care should be 
taken that all specimens are thoroughly dried before 

We now turn to the method of mounting in fluid, 
which is by no means so easy or so certain of pro- 
ducing good results. The apparatus and fluid required 
may be briefly named as follows : — 

1. Ground-edge slips. 

2. Thin circles. 

3. Fine knife. 

4. Spirit-lamp. 

5. Glycerine jelly (the best). 

6. Gold size. 

7. White-lead varnish and brushes. 

In this case we will take as our example for mount- 
ing a specimen of Aregma bulbosum, of the order 
Puccinia. Having seen that your slide is well 
cleaned, take the leaf with the A. bulbosum on it, 
and with the fine knife scrape on to the slide sufficient 
spores to fill the field of view without crowding it. 
Next take up some glycerine (which has been placed 
in a cup of very hot water in order to liquefy) in a dip- 
ping-tube, and gently let fall one drop on to the spores, 
then hold the slide over the spirit-lamp in order that 
all shall be warm, then very gently place the thin 
glass cover over the medium, and put the slide aside 
till cold. When the glycerine has well set, take a 
knife with slightly warmed blade and scrape all the 
superfluous glycerine from the outside of the thin 
glass cover ; next run three rings of gold size round, 
allowing each to thoroughly dry before the next is laid 
on ; after this has been done, finish with white and 
green varnish as in dry mounting. In this method 
the difficulty will be how to obviate air bubbles ; these 
in working with glycerine are its great drawback. I 

B 2 


Ustilaffo Segetum 

am rarely, however, troubled with them, and I owe my 
success, I consider, to seeing that the glycerine is 
thoroughly liquid and warm, and that the thin cover- 
ing glass is laid down on the spores and fluid in the 
most gentle manner. Be careful in mounting with 
glycerine what varnish you use, as there is scarcely 
one that is not affected by this fluid. After many 
trials and many failures with others, I have come to 
the conclusion that there is nothing equal to gold 

Thus then have I very briefly endeavoured to 
point out the easiest and quickest way of mounting 
micro-fungi. In conclusion, let me add a word about 
the labelling of your specimens. Be very careful 

always to roughly note on 
each slide at the time of 
mounting the name of the 
specimen, for it is of little 
use, in the case of those 
fungi the spores of which 
are mounted in fluid, trying 
to remember the name some 
day or two after mounting, 
many spores being so much 
alike that the thing is almost 
impossible. Before placing 
in the cabinet, neat labels, 
such as may be bought at 
any optician's, should be 
placed on the slide one at 
each end, bearing the Order 
and Latin name of the 
fungus, with date of mount- 
ing and mounter's name. It 
is as well also to add the 
English name. As an ex- 
ample of what I mean, see 

Fig. i. — Example to show fig. i. I must, before finish- 
mode of labelling micro-* . . . . 
fungi slides, and also of in g> g lve one warning, and 
applying rings of coloured that is, Be very sure that 
varnish. ■ 

you get the best glycerine 

jelly, viz. that which is as clear as crystal. There is 
some sold which looks foggy and muddy, so to speak. , 
This, when viewed under the microscope, shows an 
amount of deposit of some kind, which, with such 
minute organisms as those of which I have been 
treating and with a high power, prove ruination. The 
clearest glycerine jelly I ever remember to have used 
I procured of Mr. Dunscombe, optician, of St. Augus- 
tine's Parade, Bristol. It was put up in a test tube, 
which was fitted into a case ; this doubtless could be 
obtained at any optician's, and is without doubt the 
best glycerine for mounting micro-fungi I ever met 
with. I trust that, this winter, many who have not 
yet turned their attention to micro-fungi mounting 
may at last be persuaded to do so, and I can promise 
them that the result will fully repay their labour. 

Charles F. W. T. Williams. 

Co rn Sm ut 

2 4-3- 73 



T ENZITES BETULLVA occurs on the roots 
**— ' and stumps of old trees : it has the habit of a 
Polypore ; corky, coriaceous ; straight gills, some- 
what branched when young, torn when old ; pileus 
tomentose : — 

Diidalea quercina and D . unicolor. The former is 

Fig. 2.— Tomentose pileus of Lenzites betulina. 

Fig. 3. — Lamellae (old). 

Fig . 4. — Lamellae in the young state. 

Figs. 5 and 6.— Lamellae straight-branched and anastomosing 
of Dcedalea quercina (young state). 

nearest Lenzites, the latter, of more frequent occur- 
rence, approaches Polyporus : both are similar in 
habit to this genus. The pileus of D. quercina is of a 
pale buff-colour, with concentric lines not unlike 
Polyporus ulmarius. 

D. unicolor has a coriaceous, corky pileus, villoso- 
strigose, cinereous, with zones of the same colour : 
The sinuses of both species are torn and labyrinthi- 
form when old ; similar in this respect to Lenzites. 

The polypores are plentifully represented, both as 


Boletus and Polyporus proper. The scientific dis- 
tinction between the two is that in the former genus 
the hymenium of the cells is separable from one 
another and from the hymenophorum, which is not 
the case in the latter. Generally speaking, the poly- 
pores have a coriaceous, corky or even woody struc- 
ture, while that of the Boleti is soft and spongy ; but 
there are intermediate forms : P. spiimens, for in- 
stance, which we gathered from the dead trunk of a 

The polypores are arranged in divisions, according 
as the stem is central, lateral, or wanting ; besides 
these there are resupinate forms. 

Of the stemless kinds, P. versicolor met the eye 
upon almost every other old tree-stump ; rather hand- 
some in the young state, before the rich velvety-brown 
tomentum of the pileus with its broad border of light 
drab variegated with zones of the same hue has 
faded ; the hymenium is white, and pores so small as 




Figs. 7 and 8. — Labyrinthiform pores of 
Dcedalea. unicolor (young state). 


§!••• •:•' 



Figs. 9 and io. — Hymenium of Polyporus 
versicolor (young state). 

Fig. ii. — Reticulated stem 
of Boletus edulis. 


Fig. 12. — Section showing the villose strigose 
pileus of D&dalea unicolor, and pores torn 
and toothed when old. 

Figs. 13 and 14. — Fistulina hepatica with pores (enlarged in 13). 

Fig. 15. — Section of Polyportts lucidus, showing the 
tubular hymenium. 

17.— Vertical section of a Boletus, show- 
ing the porous hymenium. 

Fig. 16. — Large angular pores of Boletus Jlavus. 

tree, is somewhat spongy. The polypores are usually 
stemless, with lateral attachments to their matrices ; 
the Boleti have stipes like an agaric ; but P. ru- 
fescens, of which we found one specimen near the 
" King's Oak," is furnished with a central stipe : it is 
the prettiest of its tribe, the pileus is red and polished, 
especially on the broad border ; hymenium white. 
P. lucidus (two specimens) is also a handsome fungus ; 
it grows laterally from the roots of old trees ; the 
pileus is of a dark reddish-bay (not unlike old red 
morocco), and polished ; hymenium whitish. 

to be scarcely perceptible to the naked eye. More 
general and protean in its forms is Polyporus vulgaris, 
a white, corky, closely adherent, resupinate species, 
with a most repulsive and sickening odour : on trees, 
sticks, stumps, everywhere ; frequent and also re- 
supinate, but not adherent, P. ferruginosus : pileus 
with hardly any substance, thin, and coriaceous ; hy- 
menium irregular ; pores unequal ; of variable habit, 
but usually growing laterally from old stumps. P. 
tomentarius was also observed on old trees. 

Of Boleti we gathered specimens of six species. 


These are in habit like Agarics (see figure). Most 
frequent, B. chrysenteron ; brown and tomentose 
above, greenish-yellow below : B. aestivalis ; pileus 
dark brown, cracked when old, dirty white beneath : 
and B. scaber ; much resembling it, but stipe covered 
with fibrous scales (both species in the wood behind 
Loughton). B. edulis, one small specimen, brownish 
above, whitish below (when young, but when old 
turning to a pale yellowish-green), the tubes elongated 
and half free ; it may be known from its congeners 
by its stem, which is elegantly reticulated. B.flavits ; 
pileus viscid, yellowish ; hymeneal surface yellow ; 
pores large, angular, ragged ; stem cribrose above 
with the decurrent tubes ; not frequent. B. ekgans ; 
hymeneal surface lemon-yellow ; of firmer substance 
than the preceding, and with much smaller pores ; 
one specimen ; copse below Woodford. 

Plentiful this year was another plant of the Poly- 
pore family, of a soft, spongy, or fleshy consistence : 
viz. Fishdina hepatica, growing upon old oak-trees. 
Those who are unacquainted with its peculiar aspect 
could hardly credit its strong resemblance to a piece 
of raw bullock's liver, and still less imagine that so 
odd-looking and unattractive a thing can be edible. 
We had a portion of it dressed for dinner ; the odour 
and flavour thereof were not bad, but it ate very much 
like what stewed gutta percha might do, and there 
was an after sensation upon the teeth and palate of 
astringency, referable no doubt to the presence of 
gallic acid. From a scientific point of view it is an 
interesting fungus, because different to other Poly- 
pores in that^the hymenium is at first papillose, but 
when full grown the tubes are seen to be all separate 
and distinct. 

( To be continued?) 


By T. Mellard Reade, C.E., F.G.S., &c. 

EVERY ONE is, no doubt, familiar with the fact 
that, in boiling most water in our common 
kettles, a white precipitate, known as "fur," forms 
on the inside of the vessel. This is specially the case 
with our well water, and is due to the fact that the 
water, in its passage through the pores of the rock, 
has dissolved and taken up, in solution, lime, in the 
form of a carbonate, which is precipitated in the pro- 
cess of boiling. This is not only the case with well 
water, but, to a greater or less extent, with river water, 
the relative amounts being due to the nature of the 
rock forming the drainage basin of the river. We are 
thus brought face to face with the fact that all natural 
water contains, however clear it may seem, extraneous 
minerals in solution, for not only do we find lime in 
it, both in the form of a carbonate and a sulphate, 
but also magnesia, silica, potash, soda, iron, and other 
minerals, in more or less minute proportions. 

This may seem a very small matter, and a very weak 
instance of " chemical action," but these very forces, 
apparently so insignificant, have been mainly instru- 
mental in fashioning this world of ours into its pleasing 
alternations of mountain and valley, hill and dale. 
But to make the importance of the fact plain, it is 
necessary to put some figures that will give an idea of 
the gross, as well as relative, quantity of minerals 
removed in solution by water. It is possible, you may 
think, that 19 grains per gallon of "solids in solu- 
tion " is so small as to be unworthy of notice, but as 
regards the river Thames it means, according to 
Professor Prestwich's calculation, the removal into 
the sea annually of 548,230 tons of saline matter, or, 
roughly speaking, a ton a minute. 

We thus see that all rivers are carriers of invisible 
material, and that, in addition to the mud, sand, and 
gravel which, the most unobservant person can see, is 
hurried along to the sea at every freshet, a slow and 
silent transference of materials is taking place with 
great uniformity of action, winter and summer, dry 
weather and wet, from the land seawards. The 
Rhine, the Rhone, and the Danube unitedly, accord- 
ing to calculations I have made, remove annually in 
solution over thirty-six million tons of saline matter, 
gfc By an elaborate calculation, but a thoroughly re- 
liable one, I have arrived at the result that the rain- 
fall removes, in England and Wales, matter in 
solution equal to 1 foot in thickness over the whole 
area (in round numbers) in thirteen thousand years.* 
But these effects of chemical action mean much 
more, geologically, than at first sight appears, for the 
removal of so much mineral matter in solution is, in 
most cases, the destruction of the cementing materials 
that hold the more insoluble particles of the rocks 
together, and their consequent degradation. It is as 
if the mortar of this building were dissolved out by 
chemical action, and the loose bricks, stone, and 
timber carried away by the first floods into the river 
Mersey. Therefore it is clear that, in order to account 
for geological changes of magnitude, we only require 
time and large areas of land for the rain to act upon. 

The effects of chemical action on rocks is often 
apparent in an objectionable and costly manner in the 
stone used for building purposes. The decomposition 
and crumbling away of the new red sandstone of 
which Chester Cathedral was built is an instance, 
and in the Shrewsbury churches the decay is very 
apparent. The same may be said of the Permian 
sandstone, of which a church in Coventry is com- 
posed, while in Ludlow parish church the same action 
may be seen on the old red sandstone. The decay 
of these stratified rocks is largely due to their numerous 
planes of bedding and porous nature, permitting the 
penetration of water. Solid granite, however, not 
possessing any stratification, weathers and decays in 

* Geological time. Presidential Address, Liverpool Geological 

Society, session 1876-77. 


some cases, such as the granite used for building pur- 
poses about Dublin, the decomposition being very 
rapid. The decay appears to me to be due to the 
state of agglomeration of the grains of which it is 
composed, in addition to the chemical nature of its 
constituent minerals. Solid granite rocks decay in 
situ to the depth of many feet, and the resultant of 
the decomposition is, in Cornwall, kaolin or china 
clay. In the boulder clay about Liverpool, we find 
many decayed boulders of granite and greenstone, in 
some cases the core being preserved, and ringing like 
metal under the hammer, while the surface exfoliates 
and falls to powder. Limestone appears to be beauti- 
fully preserved in the clay, but exposed to the atmo- 
sphere it is dissolved away. These specimens show, 
in the case of limestone, the most delicate striations 
preserved, in the case of greenstone only a resultant 

If from such small examples we extend our views 
to natural scenery, we find that its character has been 
largely determined by chemical action. The valleys 
and dells of Derbyshire, so admired for their beauty, 
the gorge of the Chee Tor, the cliffs of Cheddar, in 
Somersetshire, all result from the dissolution of lime- 
stone by the chemical action of rain, but by far the 
most remarkable features of limestone districts are the 
caverns with which they abound. The Peak Cavern, 
Kent's Hole, Wokey Hole, the Mammoth Cave of 
Kentucky, are all produced by the continued action 
of water percolating from the surface through joints 
and fissures, removing the lime in solution, and en- 
larging, slowly but surely, its channels until large 
caverns are produced, sometimes underground rivers, 
and, finally, as the roof falls in, valleys. 

Having just returned from a visit to the Burren, a 
remarkable limestone district in county Clare, by 
Galway Bay, I was much struck with the effect of 
chemical action on the scenery. There you have 
grand limestone mountains, rising terrace above ter- 
race, in many places entirely bare of verdure, in 
others covered with grass, of the hue which gives the 
name of the "Emerald Isle" to Ireland, while a 
closer inspection shows most of the terraces and the 
sides of the mountains to be split up with joints in 
all stages of enlargement by rain wash, the upper sur- 
faces often bare ; in others with basin-shaped hollows 
holding water like a saucer, in which a fresh-water 
Alga grows. In others the joints may be overgrown 
with moss and verdure, giving a treacherous appear- 
ance of solidity — places to be avoided at the risk of a 
sprained ankle or broken leg — but by far the most 
curious thing is to see, perhaps 18 inches down at the 
bottom of the crevices, the surface rocks being bare, 
ferns growing in the greatest luxuriance. My friend, 
Dr. King, of Galway, pointed out to me that the 
decay of the Alga formed a very fine soil which washed 
into these crevices, forming a fitting support to the 
Maidenhair fern. The Alpine plant, Dryas octopetala, 
also grows in great luxuriance, and is the relict of a 

former Arctic climate. In other places, where the 
rock is not "jointed," Dr. King informs me, there 
exist plains of bare limestone. Not a stream of 
water is to be seen in all this remarkable district, but 
many springs, which the inhabitants hold in super- 
stitious reverence, and call "holy wells," sometimes 
forming very picturesque subjects for sketching ; of 
this character is the one at Glen Inah, near Bally- 
vaughan. This continual solvent action on the rocks 
from the joints frequently quarries out large blocks of 
limestone, proving, I have no doubt, of great advan- 
tage to the builders of those remarkable structures 
called "Round Towers," the objects of so much con- 
troversy and little knowledge, of which the use has 
never been discovered, nor the date of their building 

Lochs Mask and Corrib are both basins in the 
mountain limestone of Connemara. They communi- 
cate only by an underground river. To show the 
necessity of a knowledge of geology to the engineer, 
I may mention that during the famine an attempt was 
made to cut a canal to connect the two lakes for 
navigation purposes. The cut was made, but when 
the water was turned in, so fractured and fissured were 
the bottom and sides that the canal would not hold 
water, and it remains to this day a monument of 
misdirected energy. 

To treat fully of the connection between scenery 
and chemical action would take up more space than I 
have at my disposal, but I trust in this short outline 
I have given an insight into the forces which produce 
natural beauties that charm the eye, or grander ones 
that awe the mind. The forces of the storm-tossed 
sea, the hurricane, the earthquake, and volcano, may 
seem much more potent and terrible, but the ever 
evenly enduring wear of the elements through chemical 
action produces in the end results quite as great, nay, 
greater, though it is so distributed and slow as to be 
unappreciable to the eye except in its effects after 
long lapses of time. 


THE following remarks on the development of the 
house-fly are such as have come under actual 
observation, and the appended sketches were made by 
Mr. G. Harkus from the microscope, with the aid of a 
Beales reflector. 

Mr. Harkus, with whom I experimented simul- 
taneously, was fortunate, or the reverse, in having the 
required ova brought to him in this way. A fly having 
gained access to a cold joint of lamb considerately 
left a sufficient supply for his examination. The 
objectionable part of the arrangement was probably 
counterbalanced by his being enabled to fix the time 
of deposition with tolerable certainty. This was on 
July 28. The eggs (one of which is represented 



in fig. 20, its diameter 5 ' 5 inch) were placed with a 
portion of the meat in a glass vessel, and next day 
the maggots had emerged as in fig. 21 (diameter ^ 
inch), where the ramifications of the tracheal system 
may be traced. 

The warm weather, coupled with the indoor heat, 
matured the larva rapidly, the change from maggot 
to chrysalis (fig. 19) being apparent at each observa- 
tion, some having assumed this state on July 30. 
The perfect stage was reached and the fly emerged 
on August 5, or eight days from the deposition of the 
ova (fig. 18). 

This was a week in advance of the result obtained 
in my experiment, which I preferred to conduct out 

render the trachea, as well as the undulatory vermi- 
cular movement of the internal organs, apparent 
throughout under a low power 5 in fact, from its 
toughness, transparency, and strength, the larva is an 
excellent object for microscopic examination. When 
the animal matter was devoured, the maggots moved 
restlessly about, changing in colour from yellowish- 
white to brownish-red ; the cuticle became dense and 
opaque ; motion gradually ceased, until the perfect 
insect emerged by forcing of the segments of the 
anterior end of the shell, occupying from fourteen to 
fifteen days in completing its series of life changes. 

Mr. Harkus's part of the experiment appears to be 
useful so far as to show the adaptability of the fly and 
its ova to circumstances, and that the larva assumes 
the chrysalid state when its supply of food becomes 
exhausted, although otherwise immature (in this case 
the animal matter given them would dry up), instead 
of dying from starvation. 

The chrysalis and fly in his examples are undersized 
and impoverished, compared to those permitted to 
feed in a semi-fluid mass of animal matter. 

F'g. 18.— The House-fly (Musca domestica), magnified. 

Fig. 20.— Egg of House-fly, July 28, 1878, X 30. 

Fig. 13. — Chrysalis of House-fly, July 20, 
^1878, X 40. 

Fig. 21. — Maggot of House-fly, July 29, 1878, X 25. 

of doors. A piece of raw liver was exposed, which soon 
had eggs enough attached to it. It would appear 
that the fly has to some extent the power of with- 
holding the deposition of her ova until a suitable 
medium is found for the requirements of the larva. 

In two or three days the maggots were at work ; 
their activity and voracity in devouring the putrescent 
mass of animal matter gave it the appearance of 

For observation in the live box, any little weakness 
connected with the somewhat objectionable odour 
arising from the garbage had to be got rid of and 
some few maggots washed clean. Neither immersion 
in water nor yet compression seemed to inconvenience 
them appreciably ; their leathery integument is not 
easily ruptured, and is sufficiently translucent to 

In autumn the house-fly seems specially the 
victim to the attacks of a parasitic fungus {Empitsa 
Musca), and may be seen glued, as it were, to 
walls, a white powdery growth appearing at the 
segments of its body (the spores of the fungus). This 
vegetable pest is similar to, if not identical with, the 
parasite which causes so much destruction amongst 
fish in aquariums, and last year even attacked salmon 
in some English rivers. 

The cause of the fly becoming so firmly attached to 
dry surfaces is this. The two pulvilli which, with two 
strong curved claws (perhaps best seen with the flesh- 
fly, Musca vomitoria, as a subject), terminate the foot 
are surrounded by a fringe of tubular hairs, each ending 
with a disc or sucker, through which a glutinous fluid 
exudes. These form the points of attachment, enabling 


the insect to walk in any position, the action of the 
two claws detaching these points as the fly moves 

When the ravages of the parasite have sufficiently 
weakened the fly by the destruction of its viscera, 
&c, it becomes incapable of active movement, and, 
remaining too long in a place, the viscid fluid continues 
to exude, and then the fly " sticks to the wall." 

M. H. Robson. 


THE following species of Hemiptera being, I 
believe, an undescribed one, the account of it 
may not be uninteresting to your readers. 

It was discovered in some water percolating through 

Fig. 22.— Dorsal aspect of sp. of Hemiptera. 

Ventral aspect of Hemiptera. 

a crevice in an old wall, in conjunction with the 
Oscillatoria decorticcuis. Fig. 22 will give a general 
idea of the dorsal aspect of the insect. The rostrum 
was rather blunt, and at the apex were two small 
globose suckers, containing a viscid matter of great 
reflecting power. Eyes not apparent. The head 
was joined throughout its whole width with the 
thorax, with the exception of a small semicircular 
space on either side ; from these spaces sprang the 
wing cases, which stamps it as an individual of an 
Order of the Hemiptera. 

The sheath was closely covered with helical or 
screw-like markings, which could only be brought 
out distinctly with a high power, and forms a beau- 
tiful object for the microscope. The first pair of legs 

were devoid of any transverse segmentations, the 
most singular feature being a long horny spine half 
the length of the leg, and curved towards the tarsus. 
I have not observed these appendages before on any 
insect. The foot was beset with seven or eight fine 
hairs terminating in a claw, which was continued into 
an unusually long and fine point. The middle legs 
resembled the pair last described, except that the 
long bristles were absent. The hind pair of legs were 
placed low down the meta-thorax, and were composed 
of five distinctly marked segments, the femur being 
about twice as long as the remainder of the leg. The 
tarsus gradually tapered, and ended in a single claw 
surmounted by hairs, the long spine being absent. 
The ventral view, fig. 23, shows the abdomen with its 
eight segments tapering to the anal region. The 
whole of the underside of the beetle was covered with 
very fine hairs. 

Although I had the insect under observation for 
some hours in an excavated slide, I did not once see 
it use its wings or rise to the surface of the water as 
if for the purpose of breathing. 

Its colour was a dark brown. 

The elytra were a pale yellow, the markings being 
the same colour, but much more dense. 

They resembled the wing case of the boatfly 

Size of the object about j' s inch. 

John Davis. 


HAVING had lately to consult the volumes of 
the "Philosophical Magazine" for 1829-30, 
I have been much interested by the view of contem- 
porary science which they afford. The volumes 
record the death of four great lights of science, two 
of chemistry, Sir Humphry Davy, Dr. Wollaston, 
and two of astronomy, Dr. Young and the Marquis 
de la Place. They'contain the last papers written by 
the two first named : that by Sir H. Davy on the 
electricity of the torpedo ; that by Dr. Wollaston 
on a method of rendering platina malleable. The 
advance which knowledge has made since that date 
is of course especially perceptible in geology. The 
writers of papers on that science seem mostly to look 
upon the literal accuracy of the Mosaic account of 
the creation and the Noachian deluge as an axiomatic 
truth to which the facts observed have to be made to 
fit. One writer repudiates the idea of mineral veins 
having their origin in fissures of the rock, and adopts 
an explanation similar to that of the Cromarty quarry- 
man, who told Hugh Miller that, when God made the 
rocks, he made the fossils in them. Even geologists 
so philosophical as De la Beche, Conybeare, and 
Lonsdale, stoutly maintain that the appearances pre- 
sented by the rocks, and the physical configuration of 



the surface cannot be explained by any forces now 
known to be in operation on the earth's surface, and 
call in the aid of " debacles " (a word now as obsolete 
as the view which it embodies), or huge gushes of 
water, set in motion by the convulsions which pro- 
duced the dislocations of the earth's crust known as 
faults. The difficulties which prevented the accept- 
ance of the uniformitarian theory seem to be, first, an 
inadequate conception of the extent of past time (we 
find it maintained that valleys could not have been 
carved out by the erosive power of streams, since we 
find ancient British and Roman fortifications attesting 
by their perfect preservation that the form of the sur- 
face has remained unaltered since the time of their 
construction fifteen centuries ago) ; and, secondly, the 
phenomena then known as "diluvial." The glacial 
theory had not then arisen to throw a flood of light 
upon the origin of such phenomena as perched blocks 
and transported boulders, carried far from their native 
mountains, yet lying in the midst of fine clay. 

In natural history we find the natural system 

minister of Flisk, N.B. I knew him at the time 
only by two or three articles in the supplement to the 
" Encyclopedia Britannica," which, if they be not fair 
specimens of a Scotch D.D.'s usual quantum of Greek, 
will at least remain a monument of his talent for 
writing on animals that he not only never saw, but 
would not even now know if he saw them. In addi- 
tion to these truly novel specimens of entomological 
knowledge, I knew him also by a subsequent compila- 
tion called with much modesty ' The Philosophy of 
Zoology,' the first volume of which contains nothing 
new but some miserable plates, and the second little 
original except some names which have been framed 
in a proper independent spirit and with a noble 
contempt of Priscian. Thus we have Trochusidce, 
Gordiitsidce, Ciciudcladcv, cum multis aliis in dee of 
similar calibre. Having tivo D's tacked to the end of 
his own name, the worthy minister doubtless thinks 
that he has a right to clap one to the tail of anything." 
The following example is given of the dichotomous 
system : — 


f i Breeched 

i Dominies ( i Of Flisk ( i D.D. ( i Fleming 

»{ 2 Not D.D. 
2 Not of Flisk. 
2 Not Dominies. 
V 2 Not Breeched. 
2 Not Scotch. 

i i John. 
2 Not Fleming \ 2 Not John. 

beginning to make headway against the overwhelm- 
ing authority of Linnceus, an authority which it was 
looked upon as something little short of blasphemy 
to gainsay. We have heard of an entomologist who 
went through his cabinet and destroyed every speci- 
men which he could not find described by Linnceus. 
So the medieval physicians declared that they would 
rather do wrong with Galen than do right with any 
one else. A Mr. Roscoe, who speaks in a tone of 
authority, declares that, whatever may be the merits of 
Jussieu as a botanist, it is sufficiently clear that they 
are not exemplified in the superiority of his arrange- 
ment as a nomenclature for the vegetable kingdom. 
" We are compelled to conclude that as a nomen- 
clature and series of plants it is greatly inferior to that 
of Linnaeus ; and that however excellent it may be in 
some respects, it will never supplant in general use 
that long established work." 

Another system which has not been equally for- 
tunate in standing the test of time is the dichotomous 
system of the Rev. Dr. Fleming. A paper entitled 
" The Dying Struggle of the Dichotomous System " 
contains a criticism of that system, or rather of its 
author, in comparison with which the debate chronicled 
in the first chapter of the transactions of the Pick- 
wick Club is amenity itself. The opening sentences 
will give a fair idea of its tone : — " Some years have 
now elapsed since a gentleman, the sable hue of 
whose vesture, if not the smile on his countenance, 
betokened that he should be at peace with all men, 
came up from the North to London, and announced 
himself to me as the ReY. John Fleming, D.D., 

The author of this satire is W. S. MacLeay. When 
Scot meets Scot then comes the tug of war. How- 
ever, time brings its revenges, and if the worthy 
D.D.'s dichotomous system has failed to obtain recog- 
nition, his assailant's own pet "quinary system" has 
followed, or perhaps preceded, it into the limbo of 
exploded vanities. We may congratulate ourselves 
that scientific discussions are not now conducted in 
such a tone. Very different in style are some plea- 
santly written papers by Professor Schultes of Landshut, 
Bavaria, " On the Cultivation of Botany in England." 
The professor, in visiting England, was struck with 
the deep, full verdure of English vegetation. He had 
often heard and passed censures on the intense 
colours of the figures in English botany, but now 
perceived that the complaint was unfounded, the 
prevailing hue of vegetation being even of a deeper 
tone than there represented. He observed nothing in 
the flora of the roadsides which struck him as being 
different from that of Germany except Ulex eiiropans 
and "a species of Rtibus, which, though called by all 
the botanists of this country R. fruticosus, is not the 
plant which bears that name on the continent, of 
which the corollas are always pale red." What a 
charming picture of simplicity ! the critical botanists 
or " splitters " had not yet tried their hands upon this 
prickly genus. 

The professor is justly indignant because Sir J. E. 
Smith, the president of the Linnean Society, and the 
most eminent botanist in England, was formally in- 
hibited by the vice-chancellor of the university from 
delivering lectures on botany at Cambridge, because 



he was a Dissenter. However, the university of 
Cambridge is not alone in not always acting in a 
spirit of wisdom: for the university of Landshut falls 
in for censure in that, while it spends 6000 florins on 
its beer cellar, it allows its botanic garden to fall 
into decay. Kew Gardens, in pre-Hookerian times, 
did not impress our author favourably, but he was 
highly delighted with those of the Horticultural 
Society at Turnham Green, being apparently capti- 
vated by the delicious flavour of the peaches and 
pine-apples grown there. The British Museum of 
those days, the present building being then only just 
commenced, he considered a disgrace to an enlightened 
people. He notes the fondness of the English for 
flowers : ' ' The poor Londoner, who cannot afford to 
buy what is beautiful, will still, if possible, obtain 
something green to decorate the window with of his 
dark little attic, and give his last farthing for a bit of 
verdure." He is severe on the fiscal arrangements of 
those days, especially the window-tax and the duty on 
imported books. His herbarium being contained in 
some musty old volumes on law and divinity, he was 
charged thirty florins duty on them, to escape which 
he had to take out his specimens one by one and 
place them in papers bought for the purpose, and 
abandon his old folios to the Custom House officials. 
He visited Oxford, performing the journey in six 
hours, though at the risk of breaking his neck. He 
speaks with warm admiration of English botanists, 
especially of Mr. Don, whose reputation does not 
now stand so high as it then apparently did. 

A curious example of the change which men's ideas 
have undergone in another department of human 
interest is afforded by a description of a " Parabolic 
Sounding Board" erected in Attercliffe Church by the 
Rev. J. Blackburn, minister of Attercliffe cum Darnall. 
The woodcut with which the paper is adorned shows 
a lofty pulpit of the "three-decker" pattern, sur- 
mounted by a huge erection like a dimidiated um- 
brella. This sounding-board was constructed on 
mathematical principles, and it was claimed that, if 
the preacher's mouth was exactly in the focus of the 
parabolic surface, an attentive hearer would perceive 
an effect that might be compared to the gentle swell 
of an organ. 

We find various things now familiar to us an- 
nounced as novelties. We are told where ' ' those 
curious substances bromine and bromide of potassium, 
which we believe have not been hitherto prepared in 
this country," may be obtained. Iodine has also the 
interest of novelty. There is a paper, now historic, 
by Dr. Robert Brown, " On the Movements of Active 
Molecules" ; and we may read the speech of the Pre- 
sident of the Royal Society on delivering a medal to 
Mr. Charles Bell for his discoveries of the functions 
of sensory and motor nerves, in which he says : " Of 
all the branches of human knowledge, anatomy has 
experienced the greatest difficulties in struggling 
against passions, prejudices, and superstitions." We 

may congratulate ourselves that the difficulties alluded 
to were in great measure removed a year or two later 
by the passing of the Anatomy Act ; but the prejudice 
against the study of anatomy is not even yet extinct ; 
and has it not been left to our present parliament to 
prohibit in effect physiological research in the land 
of Harvey, Hunter, and Bell, at the instance of an 
ignorant and sentimental clamour, based upon the 
groundless statements of disingenuous agitators ? 

The perusal of these volumes shows us how great 
the advance of science has been during half a cen- 
tury, both as regards the number of ascertained facts 
and the theories which connect them together and 
give life to the dry bones. It is not, however, for us 
to be puffed up with our knowledge ; if we know 
more than our fathers, it is because we have inherited 
the fruits of their labours ; and who can tell how much 
that which passes current with us to-day may have to 
be modified or set aside before another half-century 
has passed ? We see how time tries scientific as all 
other work : if a theory be false, neither the prestige 
of a great name nor the sanction of authority can 
prop it from falling ; if it be true, neither denunciation 
nor even ridicule can prevent it from becoming ulti- 
mately accepted. 

H. F. Parsons. 


A LTHOUGH less known to English geologists 
A than any other part of the British Islands, 
the geology of the "Sister Isle" is, perhaps, for 
many reasons, the most interesting and instructive. 
Representatives of the most important formations are 
here found developed after a manner different to what 
they are seen elsewhere. There is "eozoonal " struc- 
ture in the pure marbles of Connemara ; characteristic 
zoophytes (Oldhamia) in the Cambrian slates of 
Bray Head and the Wexford Mountains ; peculiar 
Silurian fossils, as well as rocks, in the iron-bound 
coasts of the west ; a wealth of Devonian ferns and 
cryptogamia in the fine sandstones of Kilkenny, such 
as no other member of this ancient formation has yet 
yielded ; carboniferous rocks which, in addition to 
the characteristic forms found elsewhere, have a fauna 
of their own — strange-looking fishes, amphibians, 
and labyrinthodonts. The carboniferous limestone 
stretches over the greater part of midland Ireland. 
Then we have triassic, Rhaetic, and a little oolite, 
succeeded by chalk, miocene shales, and relics of 
volcanoes and volcanic lava flows ; drift beds even 
more distracting in the numerous forms they assume 
than their representatives in England or Scotland ; 

* " Manual of the Geology of Ireland." By G. Henry Kina- 
han, M.R.I. A., &c., of H.M. Geological Survey. London, 
C. Kegan Paul & Co. , 



Fig. 24. — Cambro-Silurian and Silurian Fossils. From Kinahan's "Geology 
of Ireland," Plate II. 

Geology of Ireland, physical and stra- 
tigraphical, is treated in the methodi- 
cal detail which is most valuable to a 
student. We might take exception to 
some of Mr. Kinahan's conclusions as 
to the evidences of marine denudation 
he freely quotes, for in many respects 
the author is antagonistic to the 
" subaerialists " in geology who at 
present have the explanations all their 
own way. And we think it would 
have been better if the old instead 
of the new technical terms had been 

The book is divided into five sec- 
tions, each containing several chapters. 
These sections are devoted severally 
to "Sedimentary Rocks," "Metamor- 
phic and Eruptive Rocks," " Super- 
ficial Accumulations," " Physical 
Features," and " Economical Pro- 
ducts." It is illustrated by many 
woodcuts, the sketches of which are 
original, and some very good ; and 
also by eight plates of fossils, &c, of 
whose merit the reader can best judge 
by the two which, through the kind- 
ness of the publishers, we are enabled 
to lay before them. The style in 
which the book is written is well 
suited to the subject, being matter- 
of-fact and clear. Mr. Kinahan, with 
Irish generosity, adopts the commend- 
able practice of giving to all those 
geologists who have in any way helped 
him, or whose works are quoted, the 
fullest credit they deserve. 

This " Manual " will henceforth 
be necessary to the student of the 
geology of the British Islands, and 
particularly that of Ireland. It is in 
every sense of the word most credit- 

post-glacial peat-bogs, turbaries, relics of ancient man 
and ancient art — surely in this short summary of rocks 
of every geological age and mineralogical character 
we have the secret of that picturesque and scenic 
natural beauty which the "Green Island" possesses 
more than any other in the northern hemisphere. 

Mr. Kinahan's "Manual of Irish Geology" is a 
most useful addition to our scientific literature. No 
other geologist was so competent to the task, for 
Mr. Kinahan has been engaged on the Irish Survey 
for many years, and now occupies the honourable 
position of senior geologist. He has in person 
examined, worked out, mapped, and surveyed the 
most difficult and important parts of the geology of 
Ireland. He has long been recognised as a keen 
observer of physical geology, and the book before us 
is filled with the results of a life's hard work. The 

able to its author, and we hope it will bring him the 
scientific honours he so well deserves. 


"The Germ Theory of Infectious Diseases." 
— This is the title of the address delivered by Dr. 
Drysdale, as president of the Liverpool Literary and 
Philosophical Society. It is a pamphlet of 74 pages, 
published by Bailliere, Tindall, & Cox. We know 
of no other similar paper which is so clear and com- 
prehensive, so original and logical. It is not only a 
capital summary of all that has been said and written 
and experimented on this most important subject, but 
it lays down the basis of new experiments, with a 
view to determining the simpler and less complex 




A New Lamp for Microscopic 
Mounting. — In mounting balsam 
slides, I find that a small benzoline 
lamp with opaque white glass answers 
admirably in the place of the spirit 
lamp and brass plate advocated by so 
many writers on microscopic mount- 
ing. The slide may be laid flat across 
the lamp-glass, and the heat can be 
regulated to any degree by means of 
the rackwork. The light which this 
lamp gives enables the worker to 
detect any moderate-sized air-bubbles, 
while the opaque lamp-glass prevents 
the light dazzling his eyes. The cost 
of this lamp is only is. 6d., and it may 
be bought of almost any oilman. — Geo. 
Clinch, West Wickham, Kent. 

Section Cutting. — Messrs. J. & 
A. Churchill have just published a 
neat little manual by Dr. Sylvester 
Marsh, entitled "Section Cutting: a 
Practical Guide to the Preparation 
and Mounting of Sections for the 
Microscope." Special prominence is 
given to the subject of animal sections. 
It is a most useful little book, and 
cheap, the price being, we believe, 

The Quekett Microscopical 
Club.— No. 38 of the "Journal" of 
this popular and useful club has just 
been published, containing papers as 
follows : — " On an Apparatus for Use 
with Powell's Small Bull's-eye Illu- 
minator," by Geo. Williams; "On 
the Influence of Diffraction in Micro- 
scopic Vision," by F. Crisp, LL.B. ; 
and the address of the late president 
(Henry Lee, F.L.S.). Prof. Huxley 
has been elected president for the 
ensuing year. 

Fig. 25. — Upper Carboniferous (Coal-Measure) Fossils. 

of Ireland," Plate IV. 

From Kinahan's " Geology 

Microscopy in Natal. — I have much pleasure 
in informing you that we have, in our little colony, 
just founded a microscopical society, which bids fair 
to be very successful. It is called the " Natal Micro- 
scopical Society," and is under the presidency of 
Julius Schulz, M.D.— Stephen C. Adams, Hon. Sec. 

Sections of Quartz. — Would Mr. J. Clifton 
Ward kindly describe how he obtains and prepares 
for the microscope the "slices" of quartz he speaks 
of in his interesting articles in Science-Gossip ? — 
R. S. P. 

Diatoms in Coal.— In reply to F. W. Kitton's 
communication, I only write to say that, when I saw 
diatoms in coal first mentioned, I tried the ashes of 
the coal we were then burning, and found abundance 

of them of several different kinds, and from several 
different specimens of ashes, but I do not think they 
will be found in all kinds of coal. — Edtvard Thomas 


Science in the Provinces. — The number of 
"Proceedings," "Transactions," &c, which reach 
us, setting forth the work done in the scientific centres 
which now exist in almost every town in Great 
Britain, is increasingly great. One of the best 
managed of these provincial societies is the West 
Cumberland Association for the Advancement of 
Literature and Science, which is formed by the union 



of eight societies in as many of the Cumberland towns. 
Their "Transactions" frrm a tolerably large annual 
volume, and part iii. is now to hand, containing, 
among other papers, reports, and presidential ad- 
dresses, one on " Tne Probable Condition of the 
Interior of the Eart'i," by Sir George Airy, K.C.B., 
F.R.S. ; on "Quartz," by Mr. J. Clifton Ward, 
F.G.S. ; " Boulde' Clay," by Charles Smith, F.G.S. ; 
"Common Beet'es,' 1 by W. Duckworth; &c— The 
annual report of another nourishing and vigorous 
society, the Belfast Naturalists' Field Club, is also 
before us, containing, besides several papers of more 
than local interest, the result of special geological 
research in the Silurian rocks of county Down, by 
William Swanston, F.G.S., and their hitherto unknown 
and unclassified graptolites, by Mr. Charles Lapworth, 
F.G.S. Mr. Joseph Wright, F.G.S., also gives a 
carefully worked out and arranged list of the recent 
foraminifera of Down and Antrim. These three con- 
tributions would alone make any report valuable to 
naturalists and geologists generally. There are also 
papers, chiefly geological, by Messrs. W. Gault, 
W. Gray, &c, and well-written accounts of the 
summer excursions. — The twentieth report of the 
East Kent Natural History Society has been sent us, 
showing a healthy state of scientific activity. The 
abstracts of the papers read at various meetings are 
very clear. Prominence appears to be given to 
microscopical examination of natural history subjects, 
to which Mr. James Fullagar, Mr. Hammond, and 
Professor Gulliver contribute very importantly. There 
is also a good abstract of the address by the presi- 
dent (Mr. G. Dowker, F.G.S.) on flint stones and 
banded flints. — The Dulwich College Science Society 
have issued their first annual report, and we cor- 
dially hope it will be the pioneer of many to follow. 
It commences well, by "reporting" on the botany, 
zoology, &c, of the neighbourhood, and contains ab- 
stracts of papers read at the bi-monthly meetings. — 
The Eastbourne Natural History Society is favoured 
by having several naturalists of note among its leading 
members. Mr. Roper,'F.L.S., has recently addressed 
the society on ' ' The Additions to the Fauna and 
Flora of the Crickmere District during the Past 
Year."— The North Staffordshire Natural History 
Society have had several important summer outings, 
at which interesting papers have uniformly been read. 
— The various societies at Burton-on-Trent, Notting- 
ham, Birmingham, Leicester, Northampton, Tam- 
worth, &c. have had capital abstracts of their 
proceedings published in the " Midland ^Naturalist," 
which has now reached the conclusion of its first 
volume, and proves a most ably edited ' ' Journal of 
the Associated Natural History, Philosophical, and 
Archaeological Societies and Field Clubs of the Mid- 
land Counties." 

| The Geographical Distribution of Animals. 
— We have received a coloured map showing the six 

geological divisions of the globe, according to Wallace 
and Sclater. It is published by Messrs. W. & A. K. 
Johnston, and has been arranged by Dr. Andrew 
Wilson. The map is accompanied by a small hand- 
book, which gives the necessary explanatory matter. 

The Black-throated Stonechat. — At a recent 
meeting of the Zoological Society, Dr. Sclater ex- 
hibited and made remarks on an adult specimen, ir. 
full plumage, of the black-throated stonechat (Saxi- 
cola stapazina), which had been obtained in Lanca- 
shire, and had been sent for exhibition by Mr. R 
Davenport, by whom an account of it was lately 
written for Science-Gossip. The species had not 
been previously recorded as occurring in the British 
Isles, and is an interesting addition to the list of 
" Accidental Visitors." 

The Black-throated Stonechat in Lanca- 
shire. — Your correspondent, " R. Davenport," in the 
October number of Science-Gossip, may congratu- 
late himself on being the first to record the occurrence 
of Saxicola stapazina, or "russet wheatear," in the 
British Isles. I have for years anticipated and longed 
to hear of the appearance of this species on our side of 
the Channel, and wondered why (at least) a straggler 
should not occasionally appear at the same time with 
its near relation, S. osnanthe. There is a capital 
coloured figure and description of stapazina given, 
amongst other continental or European species, in 
Bree's " History of the Birds of Europe not found in 
the British Isles." — John Gatcombc. 

Ziphius curvirostris. — The drawing forwarded 
to me is undoubtedly that of the skull of a specimen 
of Ziphius curvirostris (Cuv.), a species often found in 
the Mediterranean (see my article on " The Seals and 
Whales of the British Seas," Science-Gossip for 
February 1878, p. 29). Dr. J. E. Gray, in his 
" Catalogue of Seals and Whales in the British 
Museum," says that this species "has long been 
regarded as fossil. It really exists in the Mediter- 
ranean. The skull described by Cuvier (' Oss. Foss.' 
v. t. 27, f. 3) was found by the fishermen of the Gulf 
of Bouc. Others have since been obtained, and each 
of them has been described as a new species." See 
also Professor Flower "On the Recent Ziphiod 
Whales," " Trans. Zool. Soc." vol. viii. p. 207. Pro- 
fessor Fowler has seen the drawing forwarded by 
M. Piercas, and has no hesitation in ascribing it to 
this species. — T. Southwell. 

Preserving Skins, &c. — The following is a 
French substitute for arsenical soap : — Savon blanc, 
625 grammes ; sulfate d'alumine et de potasse, 250 gr. ; 
sous-carbonate de potasse pulverise, 125 gr. ; chlorure 
de sodium, 125 gr. ; chaux en poudre, 250 gr. ; 
camphre en poudre, 60 gr. ; eau, 750 gr. ; huile de 
petrole, 60 gr. Gently boil the soap and salts together 
in two-thirds the water. Mix the lime with the 



remainder. Dissolve the camphor in the petroleum. 
Mix the whole when cold. — J. S. 

Portuguese Man-of-war (Physalia pelagica).— 
It will doubtless be interesting to many of your 
readers to learn that a specimen of this exquisitely 
beautiful marine creature has been picked up at the 
Isle of Wight. During a storm which prevailed 
about the middle of October last, I was watching the 
waves at Bonchurch, when I observed a singular- 
looking object on the beach. Upon a closer in- 
spection I discovered it to be a fine specimen of the 
Physalia pelagica. In the "Intellectual Observer," 
published in November 1862, an accurate figure is 
given of one, also obtained at the Isle of Wight in 
July of that year. The colour of that found by me 
was, however, of a richer crimson, nearly the whole 
of the semi-transparent membrane being of that 
colour, the surface of this membrane being tinted 
with an exquisite blue, so that, when held at any angle, 
the most lovely shades of purple, blue, or crimson 
were to be obtained, giving the exterior of the object 
the appearance of shot silk. The pendent tentacula 
were slightly injured, but still retained their lovely 
blue colour. Being at some distance from home, and 
having no vessel in which to convey it, I returned it 
to its native element, but fear that it did not long 
escape destruction upon the pebbly beach, upon 
which the waves were breaking with great force. — 
Edward H. Robertson. 

"Health Primers." — By this title, Messrs. 
Hardwicke & Bogue have issued the first instalment 
of simple handbooks on health subjects, such as any- 
one can afford to purchase (a shilling each volume), 
and anyone can understand and be interested in when 
bought. They are severally written by the ablest 
medical writers of the day ; and the complaint is now 
altogether removed that clearly written and inexpen- 
sive books on subjects of this kind do not exist for the 
benefit of the masses. The first four volumes treat 
on — "The House and its Surroundings"; " Exercise 
and Training"; "Alcohol: its Use and Abuse"; 
and " Premature Death : its Promotion and Preven- 
tion." These books are capitally got up, with good 
type and good paper. 

Science-Gossip Folk-lore. — Mr. James Britten, 
F.L.S., has compiled a capital and useful Index 
to the Folk-lore in the First Series of Hardw kite's 
Science-Gossip, vols, i.-xii. (1865-1876), which 
has appeared in the "Records of the Folk-lore 

The Bony Pike (Lepidosteus osseus). — This well- 
known living representative of the nearly extinct order 
of ganoid fishes, so abundant in the seas of the pri- 
mary epoch, is not uncommon in the North American 
lakes and rivers. Within the last few months the de- 
velopment of the young fish, as they escape from the 

eggs, has been studied by Professor A. Agassiz, who 
says "that, notwithstanding its similarity in certain 
stages of its growth to the sturgeon, notwithstanding 
its affinity with sharks by the iformation of its pec- 
torals from a lateral fold, as we\l as by the mode of 
growth of the gill-openings and gill-arches, the Lepi- 
dosteus is not at all so far removed from the bony 
fishes (Teleostei) as is generally supposed." 


Epipactis purpurata (Sm.). — I have found this 
plant growing in tolerable abundance under the shade 
of a clump of trees. It seems to me to be quite a 
different variety from E. latifolia. The whole plant 
is larger, except the leaves, which are much smaller 
and narrower in proportion, and lie closer to the stem, 
than those of E. latifolia. The stem and roots are 
thicker and more fleshy, and the latter grow much 
deeper in the ground than those of E. latifolia. The 
flowers are always of a yellow-green colour, slightly 
tinged or lined with pink, there being no difference of 
colour within the lip. The lower bracts are twice as 
long, and the upper ones about the same length as the 
flowers. I have found E. latifolia both in chalk and 
alluvial soil ; but E. purpurata in the latter only. I 
have seen nothing intermediate between this plant 
and E. latifolia. Its purple colour is most decided. — 
Walter Longley Bourke. 

Vegetable Moth-trap. — In reply to your 
inquiry in page 259 of Science-Gossip for November, 
my attention was directed to the number of insects, 
moths, bees, &c, caught by the flowers of Physian- 
thus growing against a house at Newton Abbot, 
Devon, in 1875. Mv impression is, that they do not 
die in two minutes, but that some of them, at least, 
live for two or more days after being caught. I have 
had an opportunity every year since 1875 of observing 
this plant, and though it exudes a thick milky juice 
on fraction, I cannot discover that this is of a narcotic 
or soporific nature, as many insects which appeared 
to have been some time captive, flew away readily on 
being released. I am inclined to believe that the 
action is purely mechanical, but have been unable to 
discover whether the plant has any power of opening 
and closing the trap, or whether the insects entangle 
themselves. I have reason to believe that many have 
been more or less entrapped two or three times before 
their final capture. It would take too long to enter 
into a minute description of the structure of the flower, 
which I have minutely examined. I brought this 
plant before the notice of the East Kent Naturalists' 
Society in 1875. The plant to which I allude is 
growing in the open air with a south or south-east 
city aspect, but though it flowers profusely, it has 
never formed seed : can you explain this ? — John 
P. Hall. 



Phyllactidium putCHELLUM. — I have a large 
number of freshwater plants, Phyllactidium pidchellum, 
growing upon the glass sides of a tall cylindrical 
Vallisneria aquarium, and as in Science-Gossip, 
1867, p. 178, it is requested that new localities for 
this plant should be made known, I herewith send 
the information. The water was furnished from the 
Kennet and Avon Canal at Bath, but it has frequently 
been supplemented by ordinary rain-water. — R. H. 

A New Catalogue of British Plants. — The 
Rev. George Henslow contemplates printing a cata- 
logue of British plants, arranged according to 
Hooker's "Student's Flora." Anyone wishing for 
copies, is requested to communicate with him at 
86 Titchfield Terrace, Regent's Park, N.W. 

Malformation of the Wallflower. — A pe- 
culiar growth of this fragrant plant was recently 
observed by me, the peculiarity in this case partaking 
of a combination of petals, stamens, and pistil, to 
form a six-celled body. The sepals of the calyx were 
dark purple — almost black ; the plant remarkable for 
vigorous growth. In florists' flowers, stamens and 
pistils are converted into petals ; in this instance 
there is a reversion of this phenomenon in a sponta- 
neous manner. — M. Kino-. 

Autumn Ramble in Epping Forest. — Dr. 
De Crespigny is hardly right when he says, regarding 
Agarics (p. 254): "In one sub-genus there is no 
stem — Pleurotus." The larger species of this sub- 
genus have a distinct and often very large stem, 
some indeed being furnished with an annulus. A. 
(Pleurotus) Ulmarius (illustrated as stemless on 
p. 252) always has a thick stem. Mr. Berkeley's 
A. Cecilia certainly grows in Epping Forest, but it is 
not a "much smaller" species than A. rubescens ; it 
is in characteristic specimens much larger : indeed 
A. Cecilia is a decidedly large Agaric ; its correct 
name is A. strangulatus, Fr., A. Cecilia being a 
synonym. Why is A. nudus said to be "probably a 
very dangerous species " ? I have known it eaten 
without ill-effect during late years. A. (Pholiota) 
aureus described as growing near the " Wake Arms," 
does not grow in Epping Forest : the plant mentioned 
by Dr. Crespigny is A. spectabilis. A. aureus found 
a place in Berkeley's " Outlines " by an inadvertence : 
it has only been known of quite late years as a British 
plant. A few years ago a variety of this species was 
found at Downton, near Ludlow, whilst I detected 
the true plant at Perth, three years ago. A. aureus 
is very rare, whilst A. spectabilis is common every- 
where.—^ 7 : G. Smith. 

A Strange Place for Marsh Plants. — I have 
been interested in the record of the occurrence of 
plants in the new docks at Leith, as given by Mr. 
Douglas in the last number of Science-Gossip. As 

all the plants given in his list are natives of the south 
side of the Forth, and are to be found all along the 
coast from Bowness to North Berwick (in damp and 
marshy places) it is quite unnecessary to imagine the 
previous existence of a stream in order to account for 
their appearance ; most of them used to grow at the 
Figgat Whins, between Leith and Portobello. — A. 
Craig- Christie. 

Monstrosity in Digitalis purpurea. — An 
instance of monstrosity in the flower of a cultivated 
foxglove came under my notice last summer. It was 

Fig. 26. — "Monstrosity" {Synanthy) in Common Foxglove. 

an example of the malformation called "synanthy," 
which consists in the more or less complete union of 
several usually distinct flowers. Dr. Masters, in his 
"Vegetable Teratology," p. 40, illustrates a somewhat 
similar case, and indeed shows that the corolla of the 
foxglove is liable to various forms of monstrosity, such 
as the production of a spur, the formation of a polype- 
talous corolla by fission, and the occurrence now and 
then of a regular corolla. In the specimen I have here 
figured, the flowers at the top of the raceme not only 



grew together into a cluster, but so grew as to form a 
single cup, nearly four inches in diameter, not unlike 
a shallow convolvulus with a very irregular margin. 
The cup so formed, however, was not complete, 
having a slit down one side — a feature I should per- 
haps not have noticed had not the figure in Dr. 
Masters's work shown the same formation very 
plainly, whence I infer that it may be usual. Inside 
the cup was only a confused mass of distorted petals, 
stamens, or carpels, while below it was an involucre 
formed by the cohesion of the bracts of the several 
flowers. When I gathered the specimen last June, 
every other stalk on the plant showed promise of 
producing a similar irregularity, though then only in 
bud. — John W. Buck, B.Sc, New Kingswood School. 

Destruction of Isoetes lacustris by Fish. — 
I was geologising lately at the lakelets on the ice- 
worn summit of Fairhead, county Antrim, and ob- 
served a large quantity of fragments of the quill-like 
leaves of Isoetes lacustris floating in the water. On ex- 
amining the pieces I found they were all freshly 
champed and bitten, the broad, flattened part of the 
base was in every instance almost eaten away. Turn- 
ing into a shallow little bay, I found this wholesale 
destruction of this very interesting plant was caused 
by a number of common black trou-t. They were 
busily engaged nibbling and biting off the basal part 
of the quills. I saw several of them with portions in 
their mouths darting away into the deeper water. The 
weather was very dry, and had been so for a long 
time previous ; in consequence, the water of the 
lakelets was low, and the brooklets flowing into them 
were all dried up. The supply of worms and other 
food brought down into the lakelets by the streams 
was cut off owing to this cause, and the fish were 
forced to feed on the Quillwort. This was the only 
plausible explanation I could offer to account for the 
strange conduct of the fish, but perhaps some of the 
readers of Science-Gossip have observed something 
similar, if so, [ would very much like to be informed 
of the circumstance. In conclusion, I may state that 
the Quillwort, Isoetes lacustris, is a very rare and local 
plant in this district ; only two stations are recorded 
for it in county Antrim, these are the little lakelets on 
Fairhead, and the river Bann, near Jackson Hall. — 
William Gault, Belfast. 


Dwarf Fossil Crocodiles. — Professor Owen has 
recently described some fossil crocodiles found in 
rocks of Purbeck age, under the name of Theriosuchus 
pusillus. This crocodile was only 18 inches in length. 
As regards its derivation, it appears to be related to 
the theriodonts of the Trias. 

The Upper Greensand Coral Fauna of 
Haldon, Devonshire. — This was the title of a 
paper recently read before the Geological Society, by 

Professor P. Martin Duncan, F.R. S. The author in this 
paper stated that since the publication of his supple- 
ment to the " British Fossil Corals," published by 
the Palaeontographical Society, several new corals 
have been obtained at Haldon by Mr. Vicary, of 
Exeter. Twelve additional species were noticed, of 
which ten were new. This brings the total number 
of species in the Haldon greensand up to twenty-one. 
The new species are thus distributed : — Aporosa : 
Oculinidse (1), Astraeidae (3), Fungidoe (5) ; Per- 
forata: Turbinaria; (2); Tabulata (1). The paper 
concluded with remarks on the genera and species 
represented, from which it appeared that the coral 
fauna of Haldon is the northern expression of that of 
the French and Central European deposits, which are 
the equivalents of the British upper greensand. The 
Haldon deposit was formed in shallow water, and the 
corals grew upon the rolled debris. 

Holes in Oolitic Limestone. — In Science 
Gossip for November, F. N. D. asks why holes are 
found in oolite beneath sand. I cannot say for certain 
that the cause I have seen at work with a similar effect 
is certainly the cause for the holes mentioned ; but as I 
know of no other equally efficacious, I tell him what 
I have seen. Holes in limestone and basaltic rock 
caused by small surface hollows — water percolating 
through the superstructure acts on sand particles in 
these hollow places, and the sand grains act as 
gimblets or gouges by constant friction ; the rock is 
worn away, and holes are made for a few inches to 
many feet in diameter. In the large holes pebbles 
and gravel take the place of sand, and wear out deep 
cavities ; in places where the water action is confined 
to dripping, the holes are deep and uniform ; where 
they are exposed to running water the erosion assumes 
varied shapes. The holes described by F. N. D. are 
most likely made by water drops and sand in a rock 
formed of some shale or soft material. — H. P. M. 

The Thermal Sources of Carlsbad. — The 
recent demolition of a house has led to the discovery 
of a remarkable geological fact — the existence of 
a peculiar zone, about 15 to 20 metres broad, be- 
tween the steep pyritose granite, with frequent veins 
of hornstone on which the town tower stands, and the 
similarly pyritiferous granite creeping out beneath the 
terrace of the Schlossberg. This zone is filled up 
with a breccia of granite and hornstone, with thermal 
waters circulating everywhere within its fissures, and 
depositing on their inner surfaces crusts and veinules 
of arragonite, some of them \\ metre thick. The 
temperature of the whole zone is high, on account of 
the warm water and steam issuing out of every cleft 
and crevice. 

Marine Fossils in Gannister Beds.— I was 
much surprised to learn that Professor G. A. Lebour 
announced the discovery of marine fossils in the lower 
coal measures or "gannister beds" of Northumber- 
land, and that "hitherto no marine fossils had been 



met "with in these rocks." We in Oldham are situate 
within an easy walk of a long and well-developed 
outcrop of these gannister beds, and I have been 
intimately acquainted with them for upwards of 
twenty years, yet, in a palasontological sense, it has 
never occurred to me that this series, with some 
limitations, could have had any other origin than a 
marine one. From the time of my first acquaintance 
with these beds I have believed that such fossils as 
Goniatites, Orthoceratites, and Nautili, were the re- 
mains of marine mollusca. — Jas. Nield, Oldham. 

What are Conodonts ?— It will interest our geolo- 
gical readers to know that at another recent meeting of 
the Glasgow Natural History Society, Mr. John Young 
stated that he has been enabled to compare Mr. Smith's 
carboniferous limestone conodonts with the series of 
Silurian forms so beautifully figured in the plates of 
Dr. Pander, and that he finds in these plates that at 
least five of the Silurian genera are represented 
amongst the carboniferous specimens. These genera 
are Cardylodus, Gnathodus, Ctenognathus, Prionodus, 
and Lanchodus. Of some of these genera there are 
one or two species that are so closely related to the 
Silurian forms that it is difficult to point out any 
characteristic distinctions between them. Mr. Young 
stated that Professor Owen in his " Palaeontology," 
first edition, p. 96, says, " The writer, after the closest 
comparison and consideration of the evidence, is 
disposed to regard only those referred by Pander to 
the genera Ctenognathus, Cardylodus, and Gnathodus, 
as having any probable claim to vertebrate rank." It 
is therefore interesting to find, as already noted, that 
these three genera are represented amongst the car- 
boniferous forms, and it becomes highly probable that 
the other genera may yet rank amongst the vertebrates 
likewise. In the deposits yielding these remains are 
found beautifully preserved vertebral bones, appa- 
rently of small fishes, while another tooth somewhat 
closely related to Aulocodus (Pander) and scales like 
Ccelolepis (Pander) are also found. Mr. Young also 
stated that amongst Mr. Smith's specimens were one 
or two slides of stout, minute, conical teeth, about a 
line in length, of a round form, slightly curved, hollow 
at their base, and tipped at their points with trans- 
parent dentine or enamel. These teeth differ from 
the conodonts figured in Pander's plates, in being 
nearly circular in section, while the Silurian forms in 
most instances have sharp opposite margins. The 
carboniferous specimens may therefore belong to 
true fishes, of which there is plenty of other evidence 
in the same beds. 


Do Blackbirds migrate?— In the spring of 1876 
a brood of blackbirds was hatched in the nursery of 
Messrs. Lott & Hart, of Faversham, one of which, 
a cock-bird, was mottled, one wing being entirely 
white, which made it very conspicuous, and on that 
account it was spared from being shot when it helped 

itself to the cherries. In the early autumn it was lost 
sight of with regret, being often looked for during the 
winter, but was never seen ; and it was thought that it 
had fallen a prey to some one who had the propensity 
for putting into a glass case every bird that had the 
misfortune to differ from its fellows. But in the 
spring of 1877 it reappeared, and either found or 
brought a mate with it, and built a nest in the garden, 
where it remained all the summer, being the only bird 
that held the royal prerogative of helping itself to the 
fruit with impunity. In autumn the bird was again 
missing, and it was thought that it had come to an 
untimely end ; but on the evening of March 4 it 
again made its appearance, and, perching on a fruit 
tree quite close to the house, it made the inmates 
aware of its presence by singing its evening chorus 
with all its might. It would thus appear that the 
blackbird does not stay in the same neighbourhood 
all the year. Do they pass south for their winter 
quarters like the ring-ousel, which we see passing 
southwards in the early autumn ? these stay with us 
for one clay, helping themselves to the mulberries, of 
which they seem very fond, and then are seen no 
more. — James Pink. 

Preserving Reptiles. — I should be much obliged 
if you could give me any good way of preserving 
reptiles, more especially frogs and newts. I have 
read that, if put in a bottle of corrosive sublimate and 
spirits of wine, it takes them a long time to die, and 
they are in great agony all the time. By stating, 
first, how to kill, and, secondly, how to preserve, 
you will oblige — Alfred Wheldon. 

Stung or Scalded by Parsnips. — I was sur- 
prised a few weeks ago to receive a note from the 
Island of Guernsey, from which I quote : — " I have 
been poisoned round my wrists, so that I could not 
write. You must know that parsnips collect quantities 
of dew, and if we touch, or are touched by, the most 
minute point of a leaf while the dew is on it, a red 
spot comes, which brings intolerable itching, espe- 
cially when warm in bed ; then each spot turns into 
a nasty yellowish blister full of very hot water. When 
that bursts, it leaves an open sore, as painful as a 
boil, which takes a long time to heal, and which 
continues itching till quite dried up." And in answer 
to an inquiry from me : " Only when wet with dew 
will they sting or blister ; rain does not do it. Every 
farmer or agricultural labourer in the island has 
suffered from it." I may just add immense quantities 
of parsnips are grown on the island for the cattle, the 
soil being peculiarly suited to them. As I have not 
seen this stinging or " scalding," as it is called by the 
workmen, I should like to ask your readers if it be 
commonly met with in England, or is it peculiar to 
the island ? — Spes non Fracta. 

Position of Yews in Churchyards. — Has it 
been noticed that, as a rule, yew-trees in churchyards 
are on the south of the church ? In twenty church- 
yards in East Surrey I find there are only two or three 
yews out of about forty that are north of the centre 
line of the church. I should be much obliged if any 
of the readers of Science-Gossip living in Surrey 
would inform me which churches in their neighbour- 
hood have yews and which have not, especially to be 
informed certainly that the South London parish 
churches have none, as this would save me much 
unnecessary trouble ; also of any traditions or 
reasons why they should be planted in churchyards. — 
E. Straker. 

Development of Frogs' Spawn.— On March 
20, at 9 a.m., I collected some fresh spawn (there 



was none on the previous evening), and placed it in 
a vessel out of doors. On the 24th, I brought half 
my collection into a greenhouse, temperature about 
50 Fahr. On the 30th, the tadpoles in the greenhouse 
were free of the albumen, while those out of doors, 
after being several times under ice, were nearly all 
free on April 7.—R. B. C. ( Ware). 

Cats and Rabbits. — It does occasionally happen 
for the cat to give suck and bring up rabbits. A few 
years ago I got three young rabbits, at the time my 
cat's kittens were destroyed, when the youngsters 
were put into the basket beside the cat. She, by all 
appearances, was pleased with the change ; in a short 
time they were sucking. I kept them about nine 
months, but had to part with them, owing to their 
mischievous propensities. Last year a farm servant 
in the neighbourhood of Kelso got two young rabbits. 
The cat having kittens at the time, the rabbits were 
placed as a substitute for the kittens. The cat took 
well with the change ; the rabbits, when they got 
older, became so mischievous that they tore every- 
thing tearable that came in their way. They were 
taken to a rabbit burrow a considerable distance off, 
but the old cat succeeded in finding them out and 
conducting them safely back to their cottage-home. 
There are authentic cases on the Borders of the fox- 
terrier taking a liking to kittens, and even beating off 
their own mothers, and the collie-dog nursing young 
pigs. — R. R. Fans, Far Is ton. 

Successful Breeding of the Fox Moth 
(Bombyx Rnbi). — In the months of September and 
October the abundant number of the caterpillars 
of this moth has often been observed. What with 
weather and other causes, few become perfect insects. 
For a few years back I have often tried to breed 
them, but was never successful till I took the follow- 
ing plan. I got a rough heather turf, sheltered it 
from the north and east winds, made a wood frame 
covered all over with thin cloth, and put thirty-six 
caterpillars into it in October, and in June I had the 
pleasure of seeing thirty-five perfect insects. — R. R. 
Fans, Earlston. 

Fagus, &c. — The "Fagus" of the Latins could 
not have been the chestnut, for this tree was known 
to the Romans by the name of Castanea nuces, 
it having been first found by them at Castanea, a 
town of Thessaly, near the mouth of Peneus. — 
Mrs. Alfred Watney. 

Natterjack Toad. — In reply to your correspond- 
ent, J. Perrycarp, I have kept a natterjack for a 
considerable time, and have never found it to emit 
any odour. Does he not mean the common snake, 
which, like most snakes, gives forth an offensive odour 
when irritated or under sexual excitement ? — f. M. 

Our British Snakes. — The blind-worm does 
not " carry its young in a case in its back," the young 
being hatched shortly before they are brought forth. 
The adder is also ovo-viviparous, the egg bursting in 
the act of parturition. The ringed snake, on the 
other hand, is oviparous, leaving its egg to be hatched 
by the solar heat. — J. M. Campbell. 

I have on more than one occasion had proof of the 
tenacity of life in some fishes, particularly those of 
the perch family. Two instances are still fresh in my 
memory : one where a goldfish which had been taken 
from an aquarium had been left on a plate from six 
till twelve o'clock at night, and being again placed in 
the water swam about as vigorous as ever ; the other, 

a roach, had been kept four hours out of the water, 
with a like result on being replaced. — J. AT. Campbell. 

Late Swallows. — I find in Letter 21 of Gilbert 
White's " Selbourne," dated November 28, 1768, that 
one of his neighbours saw a martin in a sheltered 
nook, on a fine sunny day, hawking for flies ; he 
also states he is perfectly satisfied they do not leave 
this island in the winter. It is singular that in the 
first week of this month in my garden I have seen 
several pairs of swallows busily engaged in their 
favourite pursuit of fly catching, although the nights 
were very cold ; their numbers, however, dwindled 
down, and on November 27 last one pair only 
could I find in the district, and that pair about, my 
garden. I saw- them every day until the 12th. The 
night of the 1 1 th was a very cold, frosty one. I 
found them in the morning sitting very disconsolately 
on the spouting of the dwelling-house, taking occa- 
sionally a short flight and returning to the same spot. 
I have never known the swallow {Ffirundo rustica) 
so late before. It seems to me that Gilbert White is 
right in assuming that some of the flights are left 
behind. — S. Griffin, Salisbury. 

Intelligence in Man and Animals. — From 
time to time we read in your journal anecdotes of 
animals, the writers of which suggest that they may 
be possessed of reason, in the sense that from two 
premises they draw a conclusion. The great difficulty 
in the investigation of the minds of animals appears to 
be that man instinctively and unconsciously, unless 
checked by reflection, explains their actions, especially 
in extraordinary cases, by his own modes and laws of 
thought. The dog, for example, is considered one of 
the most intelligent of quadrupeds, and numberless 
are the cases I have seen quoted to prove that he is 
possessed of reason ; but in every instance it appears 
to me that though his actions might and would in the 
case of a man have been dictated by reason as above 
defined, it does not appear at all certain that such is 
the true explanation of the phenomena, at any rate it 
is dangerous, scientifically speaking, to attribute to 
reasoning powers what may perhaps have another 
explanation. I purposely refrain from quoting any of 
these alleged instances of reason in the lower animals, 
merely wishing to suggest the difficulties in the way 
of decision. If it could be proved that a dog de- 
liberately chose one of two courses of action, the 
case of reason would be established. It is for his 
fidelity, attachment, and courage in defence of his 
master that the dog has endeared himself to man. In 
man's vocabulary these are called moral qualities, but 
in a dog they are not the result of choice and a dis- 
tinction between good and evil, but are part of his 
nature, primal impulses (possibly affected by training) 
of which we know nothing ; and it is as illogical to 
praise the dog for their possession as it would be to 
blame a magpie for secretiveness or a tiger for ferocity. 
There appears to be an impression that the intelligence 
of animals differs from man's only in degree. There 
is a difference between a beggar and a prince, says the 
old song, but this, however, is but one of degree ; but 
until clear cases of reasoning are proved, and the 
numerous mysterious instincts of animals explained, 
surely are we not warranted in assuming that the 
intelligence of animals differs from that of man not 
only in degree but in kind ? — H. D. Barclay. 

The "Chiffonier," or "Ole Clo'" among the 
Insects. — I was amusing myself this last August in 
watching the habits of spiders and other creatures in 
the window, and on the broad window-ledge of an 
unoccupied apartment in a villa at Bellosguardo, near 
Florence, and collecting specimens for my microscope, 



when I saw what, for the moment, I imagined was a 
little nest of spiders' eggs being blown along the 
ledge ; but I perceived on closer inspection that the 
object was not the usual dainty little spider's nest, 
but a rather untidy, fluffy ball, about the size of a large 
pea, and that the object was steadily and rapidly 
moving along of its own accord, stopping now and 
then for a second and then resuming its journey. To 
my amazement, I then saw that the ball of fluff was 
borne on the back of a little insect, greyish-white, 
somewhat resembling the larva of the dermestes, and 
that the untidy but spherical mass was surely com- 
posed of cobweb, held on the creature's back by 
being twisted about in and out among the long project- 
ing hairs which were on the upper surface of the body. 
The insect was about a quarter of an inch in length, 
and bore on its head a pair of forceps about the size 
of those borne by the common earwig, but for a 
totally different purpose ; for, to my amusement, I 
noticed that each time the creature paused it was to 
pick up with these forceps some dead ant, or portion 
of a dead insect ; legs, wings, scales of the common 
wood-louse, or crumb of a thorax dropped from some 
web after the meal of a spider ; and these fragments 
were picked up so deftly, and in so droll a way did 
the creature turn its head round, and carefully arrange 
his treasure on his pack so as neither to lose it nor 
his balance ; the movement was so cunning and so 
curious, that I was forcibly reminded of the chiffoniers 
in France and Italy, with their hook and their basket, 
and of the "ole clo' " and his pack in England. 
And, quoting Mr. Squeers, I involuntarily exclaimed, 
" Well, Nature's a rum-un !" and called my friend to 
watch the creature with me. For more than two days 
I kept it in a small glass-lidded box, supplied it with 
"ole clo'," and watched it constantly collecting and 
packing ; but I never saw it feed, and one morning I 
found that a large ant I had supposed to be dead had 
attacked and eaten the creature, scattering the fluffy 
pack and its contents all over the box. Some weeks 
after this I received a note from a young friend at 
Vevey, who from my description recognises the 
" chiffonier," two of which, she says, "came towards 
me, on the table in the garden where I was seated 
reading, collecting and packing as you described." 
From my friend at Bellosguardo I also, on my return 
to England, received an account of one she had found, 
and of which she thus writes : "I had half a mind to 
send you one of those scavenger, or ' ole clo' ' insects 
which Mr. P. found ; but could not arrange anything 
that would insure its arriving alive. The pack on his 
back is much less choice than the others, consisting of 
parts of the bodies of dead flies, spiders' cobwebs, &c, 
while he himself is much smaller. I feel quite sure it 
is his food he collects, because the first night I put 
him under a tumbler he ate the wings of his fly, the 
only ornamental article in his collection. He is 
exceedingly fond of sugar, has eaten, I am sure, twice 
his weight, and has just added two small dead ants to 
his load, under which he staggers visibly. His pack 
is held on by long projecting hairs, and likewise 
secured and strengthened by cobwebs." Whether we 
have any "representative" insect chiffonier in Eng- 
land I do not know, but thought this little sketch of 
the insect might interest some of your readers. — 
S. M. 

Peregrine Falcon. — It may interest some of the 
readers of Science-Gossip to know that a young 
male peregrine (Falco peregrimts) was shot at Moor 
Street, in this neighbourhood, on the nth November, 
1878. — Roland Green, Rainham, Ke7it. 

Superstitious Dislike of the Wren. — In 
July's Science-Gossip a correspondent admits he 

has occasionally met with instances of this supersti- 
tion, but has always been unable to trace the reason 
for such an aversion. I may mention an old Irish 
tradition or legend, viz., that the Saviour, as alleged, 
withdrew Himself, and took refuge under a tree, de- 
sirous to be concealed, and the Robin carried moss 
and laid it over the tree, making the covering more 
dense, which so pleased the Lord that He blessed the 
bird, and putting forth His hand left the red mark on 
its breast ; but the Wren came and carried away the 
moss, and so exposed His retreat, hence it is the 
"Devil's Bird."— Wm. Lipsett. 

Spiders' W t ebs. — Though I have often examined 
spiders' webs in all sorts of odd corners, I have never 
found any in cupboards where there was nothing for 
them to catch. In fact, in most instances the webs 
have had remains of flies, and especially moths, hanging 
about them. I, therefore, though agreeing with the 
opinion of your correspondent in the September num- 
ber (the last clause excepted, which requires proof), 
think that the webs are also intended for the purpose 
of catching the semi-dormant moths and flies which 
retire into these dark corners. Moreover, the webs, 
though thicker and more closely woven, have always 
appeared to me quite as well adapted to their purpose 
as those anywhere else. — An Observer of Spiders. 

The Earth-worm.— Two or three days after 
reading the interesting article by Professor Paley, 
in Science-Gossip for June, on the habits, &c, of 
the earth-worm, my attention was attracted by the 
singular movement of the lower leaf of a geranium. 
Moving closer to it I found this was caused by a 
common lob worm, its hole being some distance 
from the leaf, it had to reach almost the whole extent 
of its body, catching hold of the leaf, it contracted its 
elastic body, until it had it almost within the mouth 
of the hole, but the leaf being still on the plant, it, of 
course, sprang back to its original position. This the 
worm attempted with great patience a number of 
times, but eventually finding its exertions of no use, 
it contented itself with a few pebbles, filling up the 
entrance with them, in the same manner as explained 
by Professor Paley.— C. B. 

Tenacity of Life in a Wasp.— Some time ago I 
made an experiment on the insect above-named in 
order to know something of sensation in the insecta. 
Securing a wasp, I severed the head from the thorax, 
and the thorax from the abdomen. In the thorax all 
motion seemed to cease in a few moments, but in the 
head vitality was maintained for several hours, and 
the motion of the tongue out and in alternately was 
performed with as much vigour as is usual to the 
creature, then it gradually ceased. The abdomen 
retained vitality for fully four days, and when touched 
would contract and the sting be protruded. This 
seems to me rather strange, as the abdomen is farthest 
removed from the cerebral ganglion. — J. D. 0. 

Kestrels' Nests. — Thinking it may interest some 
of the readers of Science-Gossip, I append a few 
notes of four kestrels' nests which lately came under 
my observation, showing a strange diversity in nesting 
habits for birds of the same species. The nests were 
— three of them placed in a fissure of a limestone 
cliff, some thirty feet from the ground — and the fourth 
among the stems of the thick ivy, which covered part 
of the rock. In two instances, however, no nest at 
all (in the usually-understood sense of the word) was 
made, the eggs, five in number, being laid on the 
scanty soil, which scarcely covered the rock. The 
third nest, though in an exactly similar position, was 
elaborately constructed of twigs and small roots, and 



neatly lined with moss and wool, which was worked 
up with mud to a firm consistency. The fourth nest 
in the ivy was very roughly made, being, I think, an 
old jackdaw's nest "patched up," this last contained 
four eggs in the last stage of incubation. Directly 
under it, at about a yard's distance, was a nest con- 
taining five young jackdaws, and these continued 
unmolested by the hawk, sitting above them, till they 
were fully fledged. — C. Candler. 

House-flies and their Parasites. — A friend 
of mine, a few days ago, observed a common house- 
fly walking with apparently great difficulty and pain 
upon the counter of his shop. Taking a glass he 
looked closely at it and discovered that its lameness 
and pain were evidently owing to something upon one 
foot, which, however, he could not clearly discern, 
owing to the low power of his glass. Taking, how- 
ever, the sharp blade of his penknife he pressed it 
upon what he thought was a growth from the foot, 
but the leg of the fly came off. This object he 
brought to his home, when we placed it under the 
microscope, at first under a small, afterwards under a 
high power, 5 inch ; we then discovered what a 
formidable creature it was, and could well understand 
the intense pain that poor little fly must have suffered, 
dragging with it, without any hope of shaking off, so 
fully armed a parasite. Its length I estimate about 
the one-twentieth part of an inch, its shape that of a 
bottle, its snout quite pointed, and its mouth filled 
with sharp teeth, which we could readily distinguish ! 
under the high power of \ inch. Its body was covered 
with apparently sharp bristles, it had four legs on 
each side, and near its snout a pair of most terrible- 
looking instruments exactly resembling the large 
claws of a lobster. Its colour was that of the leg, 
viz., dark brown. Certainly in all my researches I 
have never seen a more terrific-looking insect, and am 
not surprised at the fly being lame and in pain when 
within the clutches of so minute but so powerful an 
assailant. Have any of your readers noticed this 
creature, and can any one give me some information 
about it ? Is it parasitic, or is it a foe of the fly, and 
only attacks it occasionally ? I shall be exceedingly 
glad if any one of your numerous contributors can 
throw any light upon it. — Rev. IV. Marsdon Beeby. 

Piping Bullfinch. — While visiting in this neigh- 
bourhood a gentleman showed me a piping bullfinch, 
whose plumage during the last season has turned a 
complete dull black colour. The bird has moulted, 
but still it does not recover the variegations of its 
plumage ; and, although a very clever piper, has not 
been heard to utter a note since the change came over 
it. The bird had been in the owner's possession for 
many years, so that no trick could have been played 
upon him. Can any of your readers account for this 
strange metamorphosis ? — St. Austell. 

Piping Bullfinches. — M. E. M. H. would be 
much obliged if any one who has been successful in 
teaching a bullfinch to pipe a tune would give her his 
experience through these columns. She would par- 
ticularly like to know what air he taught the bird, 
how long it took to learn it, and whether he was 
successful without a bird-organ ? 

Second Growth of Plants. — Under this head- 
ing there are three notes in Science-Gossip for 
November on the second growth of various plants, 
and only one writer, D. Douglas, Leith, suggests 
that the late dry summer and the moisture of August 
"has probably something to do with the unusual 
abundance of these curious aberrations." The second 
growth is not confined to flowers, it extends to all 

plants when their roots do not run deep ; it may be 
seen in cabbages, turnips, and potatoes ; the action 
is a natural consequence of the laws of nature. Every 
plant is a duct for moisture from the soil, under the 
great law of attraction ; when this law has exhausted 
all the moisture from the surface soil and surface 
roots, the plant they belong to ceases to grow. If the 
season continues warm, and showers fall, the growth 
is renewed where it ceased, flowers develop more 
petals, daisies grow double, twigs shoot out fresh 
sprouts, and even farm roots in dry soils grow afresh 
in strange shapes. It would be a question if the 
seeds of the second growth could attain perfection in 
annuals if the wet weather commences early. I do 
not see that the action can have anything to do with 
evolution, the phenomenon does not change the order. 
— H. P. M. 

Teratology in a Moss. — In an old quarry I re- 
cently found a stem of common Polytrichutn undu- 
latum, which had four setae, bearing capsules, spring- 
ing from its summit. — Yoiuig Jl/uscologist. 

The Crystal Palace Aquarium. — Mr. Gar- 
diner, the secretary of the Crystal Palace Company, 
in speaking of the admirable manner with which their 
aquarium has been worked by Mr. Lloyd, says : 
"Our sea-water is now more brilliantly clear and 
healthy than it was when we obtained it, eight years 
ago ; our animals (mostly those which we at first col- 
lected, and of great number and variety,) are in ex- 
cellent condition ; and we have never had occasion to 
clean any of our tanks, &c, the labour saved thereby, 
and the avoidance of disturbing the creatures, being 
very great. We never remove any excrementitious 
matters, large as is the quantity of food which the 
creatures eat, nor do these substances accumulate. 
They all are got rid of, or consumed chemically, as 
fast as they are formed. Naturally, we doubted the 
practicability of gaining these excellent results before 
we saw them attained, because no similar aquarium 
had before been erected in this country. Mr. Lloyd 
is now prepared to make a further and important im- 
provement, in the direction of manufacturing sea- 
water for aquarium purposes, instead of sending for 
it from the sea. He made, and used, such water, 
with success, as recorded by him in print, more than 
twenty years ago, even when he had not succeeded in 
dissolving some of the ingredients of which actual 
sea-water consists. However, I have no reason what- 
ever to doubt what he now says of his having suc- 
ceeded in incorporating these things which he before 
left out, and that what he can now produce will be, 
not merely an imitation, but an absolutely idenlieal 
mixture. I have to add, that, in obtaining water from 
the actual sea, unless a further and serious expense is 
incurred of going far out from the shore for such 
water, it is scarcely possible to obtain it clear, in 
large quantities, and in a given time, from near any 
coast, and consequently it arrives inland much con- 
taminated with decaying organic matters, which have 
to be removed before the water can be used. Here 
this cause occasioned us some months of loss of valu- 
able time before we could open our aquarium. But 
in using artificial sea-water clearness and purity can 
be obtained from the very beginning." 

Sea Anemones in Aquaria. — Our treatment of 
Tealia crassicornis was of the simplest, as the speci- 
men we kept for the unusual length of three years 
was merely placed in the aquarium with the rest of 
the anemones, occasionally fed with a bit of raw 
meat or mussel, and the tank frequently syringed. If 
" W. H. C." could succeed in finding one on a separate 
stone, or in knocking off a piece of the stone with 



chisel and hammer he would insure" its base being 
uninjured. I found some magnificent specimens at 
Scarborough last summer, and perhaps some of your 
readers can inform me whether cats are partial to such 
things, for I brought them home, and one night, 
thinking they would be benefited by a " low tide," I 
placed two (one was a splendid fellow, the size of a 
small plate) on a pane of glass on the floor. The 
next morning every trace of them had vanished. Our 
cat was believed to be out all night, but this is not 
positively known. Has any one ever heard of cat or 
dog eating a sea anemone ? It may interest some 
collectors to know that I succeeded in getting about 
twelve varieties at Biarritz this spring ; and, what is 
perhaps more wonderful, they nearly all reached Eng- 
land alive, and are even now in first-rate condition. 
When it is considered that the unhappy creatures 
made a tour of ten days with us after leaving the sea- 
side, and had to endure a daily packing and unpack- 
ing, spending a few hours in a tin box, and at night 
placed in a basin and just covered with a little water 
carried with us in a bottle, their constitutions cannot 
be called delicate, especially as the last journey was 
taken in a paper bag ! One bay at Biarritz was per- 
fectly carpeted with the lovely Aiithea cereus of every 
hue, and it was a matter of difficulty to walk ; but in 
spite of all our exertions, we never could get them to 
live two days. I know not why. We also found a 
beautiful specimen of the Holothuria or sea cucumber, 
and of a tiny bright blue and orange snail-like crea- 
ture, which the sailors said was a sea-leech. Are 
these rare ? We could not bring them with us to 
England for want of space. I would only add in re 
Tealia crassicornis, that unless the tank is a large one, 
a single specimen is enough to keep. — C. E. R. 

Metropolitan Scientific Association. — The 
twelfth session of this society was commenced on 
October 22, when the president delivered the usual 
introductory address to an appreciative audience. 
The president mainly confined himself to the subject 
of Light and its analysis, and gave an exposition of 
the successive advances made in this branch of re- 
search from the earliest to the more recent times. 
On concluding, a cordial vote of thanks was passed, 
and an adjournment made to November 26, when 
Mr. A. P. Holden read a paper on " The Sun-spot 
Cycle in relation to Magnetic and other Disturbances." 
The M. S. A., which was established as long ago as 
1866, has steadily progressed to the present time, 
when it is now permanently settled in the city. 
Meetings are held the third Tuesday in each month 
at the ward schools, Aldersgate Street, E.C., and 
the society invite visitors to any of these meetings. 
Mr. C. Judd, A.K.C., F.R.A.S., is president, and 
Mr. W. West, of 9 Ackerman Road, Brixton, S.W., 
honorary secretary. Amongst the other officers are 
many well-known microscopists, whose papers have 
appeared several times in our columns. 

Cornus sanguinea. — Owing to the warmth and 
moisture of the few weeks in the beginning of winter 
which produced almost the conditions of a second 
summer, the Cornus sanguinea of this neighbour- 
hood came out into full blossom for a second time 
last year. The flowers which are on last season's 
wood were in no way different from those that blos- 
somed on the same plants last June and July. Is this 
unusual ? — J. S., Luton. 

Starlings and Larks. — The starling has often 
been held up as a bird of immaculate character. I 
am therefore sorry to state that I have last season 
observed him plundering red currants as diligently as 
his neighbours, the blackbird and the thrush. He has 

also a taste for cherries. Still the benefits which he 
confers are vastly greater than the injury which he 
occasions, and I much regret that, to please such 
sapient bodies as the London gun clubs, he has been 
excluded from the protection — such as it is — of the 
Wild Birds' Preservation Act. The skylark is also a 
corn-eater. I have seen him distinctly at a very short 
distance hard at work in an experimental plot of 
wheat. It is remarkable, as a proof of the intelligence 
of birds, how soon they detect the harmlessness of a 
scarecrow, and how often such devices have to be 
changed if they are really to protect fruit or grain. 
The gardener in charge of the experimental plots 
above-mentioned tells me that nothing is of much use 
for more than two days. — J. IV. Slater. 

Sea Anemones. — In answer to your correspond- 
ent's ("C. E. R.") queries respecting sea anemones, 
I have no special treatment for Bimodes getumacea ; 
I have also found them very difficult to keep. The two 
I now possess have been in my tank nearly two years, 
and are the survivors of five I had from Torquay (one 
being the parent of the young ones mentioned in my 
notes on page 191) ; the other three dwindled away, as 
described by " C. E. R." at periods varying from 
three weeks to six months. With reference to feeding 
the young ones (which I do once a week), I found it 
a very difficult matter at first, but it is to be managed 
with patience and care. The method I adopt is as 
follows. I remove the young "ferns" into an old- 
fashioned wine-cooler holding about a quart of water, 
and keep them in a quiet place, where they get a 
tolerable amount of light ; visit them several times on 
feeding days, and when I find any of them open, I 
drop a very small piece of mussel into the water and 
guide it gently with a thin piece of stick until it drops 
on the expanded disk, when it is soon devoured ; if 
the first piece happens to miss the disk, I try a second 
or third, and so on until all are fed, when I syringe 
the water, which brings the pieces not eaten to the 
surface, and they are then easily removed. I find, 
after a few weeks of this treatment, the young ones 
feed readily off a stick the same as the full-grown 
ones, and I then put them back into the tank. I have 
also reared B. gemmacea and S. bellis in one of my 
aquaria, which is a glass fern dish (16 in. diameter), 
having a rim about i\ inches from the top, on 
which rim I place the young anemones, where they 
are easily fed with a stick, being only just covered 
with water. I have now in my tank several young 
S. miniata and Dianthus plumosus, produced by 
spontaneous division, in a very flourishing condition. 
— C. A. Grimes, Dover. 

A White Rook. — While walking in the neigh- 
bourhood of Dursley, in October, I noticed, at a 
distance of a quarter of a mile or more, a white bird 
walking in a ploughed field among a large number 
of rooks. Taking it to be a sea-gull, I approached 
the field, and found that the bird in question was a 
rook without a single dark mark on any part of its 
plumage, as far as I could discern at about a gunshot 
off. — C. \V. Carrington. 

Testacella Haliotidea, &c. in Notts. — Per- 
haps it may interest the readers of Science-Gossip 
to know that Testacella haliotidea has been taken in 
this county. I have taken four specimens, and seen 
others, from which I conclude it has established itself 
here. I believe, from inquiries I have made, that this 
is the first time this species has been recorded from 
Notts, if not as far north as here ; and probably it has 
been introduced with herbaceous plants at some time. 
Mr. Tate, in his " Land and Freshwater Mollusks of 
Great Britain," says: "This species is found in 


kitchen and market gardens around London, Nor- 
wich, Gloucester, Taunton, Bristol, and in several 
localities in Devonshire, Tenby, and in the Channel 
Islands"; and Mr. Jeffrey's localities are much the 
same. I think it not improbable that this, like some 
other introduced species, will become more widely 
distributed throughout the country, as it seems to be 
gradually gaining ground, and its principal food is so 
universally distributed. The first specimen I dis- 
covered was devouring a large earthworm, and when 
I took it in my hand, it did not relax its hold. A few 
other somewhat rare shells were found by Mr. Musson, 
the secretary of the Nottingham Naturalists' Society, 
and myself a short time ago ; we spent a day collect- 
ing on the Notts side of Pleasley Vale, near Mans- 
field, and another on the same side of Creswell 
Crags, of geological fame. In the former place, 
amongst numbers of commoner species, we found a few 
Cochlicopa tridehs (Azeca tridens of Tate), one speci- 
men of Clausilia laminata (dead), and several of 
Helix lapicida, in the same condition, but a living one 
we could not find. However, in the latter place we 
found one, but only one, alive ; a long search reward- 
ing us with about half-a-dozen more dead ones. I 
believe these, or part of them, are additions to the 
Notts fauna. In the afternoon we spent some time in 
one of the caves, known as "Mother Grundy's Par- 
lour"; and besides a number of pieces of bone, we 
found three canine teeth of the hysena, and a molar 
tooth' of some animal we could not determine. Since 
then I have found one specimen of Limax briinneus, a 
somewhat rare species, according to Tate, but it has a 
very distinct appearance, although so small. I think 
Notts will bear a much closer investigation than it 
has at present received, at least the northern part of 
it ; and, doubtless, other species would be brought to 
light. The list of mollusca found in the county at 
present is about eighty ; and probably a list may be 
prepared before long. — R. A. Rolfe, Welbeck, Worksop. 

Modern Zoology. — Some few weeks there ap- 
peared in one of the daily papers a prolonged corre- 
spondence on the sanitary value of the Eucalyptus, 
which ultimately degenerated into a discussion on the 
grammatical accuracy of scientific nomenclature. One 
of the writers, speaking of an opponent, asked, 
" Does he not know that the scientific names of the 
lion, dog, and panther respectively are Felis leo, Felis 
cam's, and Felis pardus V Felis cam's the scientific 
name for the dog ! I waited, expecting that a blunder 
so gross would be at once pointed out by some of the 
disputants, but no notice was taken. Is not this a 
striking proof of the great ignorance of biology which 
exists among the " intelligent and educated classes" ? 

Deptford Pink. — It may interest your readers to 
know that a fine specimen of the Deptford pink 
(Dianthus Artneria) was found in the parish of Creet- 
ing, near Needham Market, Suffolk, last summer. — 
T. E. L., Creeting. 

Blackbird and Thrush. — Mr. Kerr, in his 
article on the Tardus viscivorus, says that I have 
fallen into a singular mistake, and that the eggs with 
claret markings were undoubtedly those of the 
missel thrush. First, the eggs I saw were pale 
blue, speckled like a blackbird's and spotted with 
the deep claret markings of a song thrush as well. 
If the claret spots could have been rubbed out, the 
eggs would have been like handsome specimens of 
the T. merula. Now the eggs of the T. viscivorus 
are invariably either of purplish-white or very palest 
sea-green ground with surface spots and blotches of 
reddish-brown and underlying markings of faded 

purple. In eight or nine nesting seasons I have not 
seen one egg with "deep claret markings" ; also the 
eggs of T. viscivorus are considerably larger than 
those of T. merula. Mr. Kerr also says I must have 
mistaken the bird I saw ( T. musicus) for T. viscivorus. 
Well, the size of the latter (as he says himself) is 
quite a sufficient distinction, irrespective of the 
different and deeper brown of the former ; and as I 
saw the bird within a few feet of me, both sitting and 
flying round me, I could not have made the mistake 
he thinks I have. Now if I had been mistaken (and 
I am quite sure I was not), the circumstance would 
not be the less peculiar, for, instead of T. musicus, 
T. viscivorus would have been mating with T. 
merula, for I saw (as I stated) T. musicus and -T. 
merula together. Again, as to the nest, I confess I was 
much at fault for not describing it. The outside was 
rather roughly constructed of mosses interwoven with 
grasses, and the lining was grass cemented with mud. 
Also, as Mr. Kerr says, the missel thrush is an early 
breeder, builds high, and prefers the fork of a tree for 
the site of its nest. Now this was in the middle of 
April ; the nest was not above 6 feet from the ground, 
and was built in a hedge, and there are plenty of 
trees all round in which it (if it had been a missel 
thrush) would certainly have preferred to build. He 
also says no instance has been known of a hybrid 
between T. musicus and T. merula. Since my first 
notice, I see that Mr. Dresser, in his " Birds of 
Europe," mentions two or three instances : one on 
the authority of Count Salvadori, another on that of 
Mr. Wier, one of Macgillivray's able correspondents. 
He also says there is a hybrid in the British Museum. 
I think that Mr. Kerr has not carefully read my 
notice, or he would have seen that I did not take one 
egg, but rather intimated the reverse. At the same 
time I must not close without thanking him for 
kindly asking me to send him an egg for identifica- 
tion ; but I was not in any doubt as to what the eggs 
were, and having a considerable number and not too 
much room, I never take one unless I absolutely want 
it.— G. T. B. 


To Correspondents and Exchangers. — As we now 
publish Science-Gossip a week earlier than heretofore, we 
cannot possibly insert in the following number any communi- 
cations which reach us later than the gth of the previous 

S. M. — Send us the papers you enumerated. 

W. Richardson. — You will find our answer to your query 
as to "fins" in your specimen of trilobite in the September 
number of Science-Gossip, 1878. 

J. R. Ner 1 -. — The following are good practical students' 
books on geology: — "Geology," by J. Clifton Ward; "Field 
Geology," by W. H. Penning (in both of these you get instruc- 
tions as to mapping, &c.) ; Woodward's " Geology of England 
and Wales," and Kinahan's " Geology of Ireland." Richard- 
son's is too old now. The second edition of Hooker's " Student's 
Flora of the British Islands " gives the critical species of British 

Rita V. — Your specimens are: — No. 1. Cardials pralensis, 
Huds. ; No. 2. Restharrow [Ononis spinosa, L.) ; No. 3. Knap- 
weed [Centaurea nigra). 

W. L. B. (Pulborough). — A reply will be sent per post. 

E. F. C. (Leicester). — First, names of plants, kindly sent for 
identification, are as follows: — No. 1. A variety of Geranium 
pusilluin ; No. 2. Myriophyllum -jerticillatum, L. ; No. 3. 
Ranunculus pscudojluitans, N. ; No. 4. Ranunculus Lenor- 
mandi ; No. 5. Ranunculus trichophyllus, Cha : x ; No. 6. 
Ranunculus Jloril'itudiis, Bab. ; No. 7. Callitriche pedunculata, 
V. C. ; No. 8. Potamogeton gramineus (?) ; No. 9. Juncus ('.') ; 
No. 10. ynncus bufonius ; No. 11. CEnanthe fluviatilis ,Q.o\. (''), 
not perf ct specimen ; No. 12. Chara Jlexilis ; No. 13. Gale- 
opsis versicolor; No. 14. Trifolium medium ; No. 15. Plum- 



bae;o Coronopus, L.; No. 16. Polygonum (Could you send another 
specimen of this species ?) ; No. 17. Glycerin Jlnitans, Sm. 
Campanula patula alba, is far from common anywhere. 
Plumbago laciest r is (Yes). 

J. A. (Coventry). — Hooker and Arnott's " Flora" is superseded 
by Hooker's " Student's Flora " ; by all means secure this. 

R. A. B. (Glasgow). — Your specimens are : — No. 1. Equisrtum 
Telmateia ; No. 2. Hieracium alpinum, L. ; No. 3. Briza 
media, L. ; No. 4. F oa alpina ; No. 5. Festuca ovina (?) ; No. 4 
was a curious viviparous specimen. 

J. Finnemore (Truro). — Smith's "Synopsis of the British 
Diatomacese" is now a very scarce book. We received a 
catalogue from a Berlin bookseller who has a copy ; the price is 
92 marks, and Mr. Finnemore should make immediate applica- 
tion. This is the only complete work on the subject, but as it 
has been published nearly twenty-five years, the number of 
species have since been trebled. O'Meara's " Irish Diatoms," 
the first part of which was published above three years since, is 
useful ; a copy may perhaps be obtained of the author, the Rev. 
E. O'Meara, Newcastle Rectory, Hazlehatch, Dublin. All 
other information is scattered through the " Transactions" of 
the Royal Microscopical Society, Quekett Club, Linnean So- 
ciety, "Annals of Natural History," "Quarterly Journal of 
Microscopical Science," &c. The address of the German book- 
seller is K. Friedlander & Sohn, 11 Carlstrasse, Berlin, N.W. 

J. A. Kay. — It is impossible to name your species of diatom 
from your rough sketch, and absence of description as to mark- 
ings, size, habitat, &c. There are about fifty species of Navicula, 
of which it is one. 

The Botanical Exchange Club. — To save personal appli- 
cations and inquiries, we beg to state that the parcels of return 
plants are being rapidly made up, and all subscribers who have 
not received them will receive them in a few days. 

J. H. M. — Your specimen is a Sisymbrium ; we should not 
like to speak positively as to species, though it may prove to be 
3". Irio. 

W. R. Wells. — It is a somewhat thankless task to have to 
name an entomological specimen from a worn wing. But your 
moth appears to be BryopJiila glamiifera, a rather uncommon 


For half-ounce sand containing foraminifera (fossil) send good 
foraminiferous or diatomaceous material, or two stamps, to Geo. 
Clinch, Hayes, Kent. 

Wanted, European Anodons and Unios in exchange for fine 
eocene fossils (British) or for N. American L. & F. W. shells, 
including many species of Anodou and Unio. — G. Sherriff Tye, 
62 Villa Road, Handsworth, Birmingham. 

Offered Colias ednsa and other lepidoptera or birds' eggs 
for specimens of Lcucophasia sinapis. — Herbert Ellis Norris, 
St. Ives, Hunts. 

In exchange for books or natural history objects, the fine cast 
of a saurian from Lyme Regis, size 12 X 28. The matrix is the 
colour of lias shale and the bones coloured in imitation of the 
original, which is in Jermyn Street Museum. —Address T. C. 
Maggs, Yeovil. 

Wanted, any of the following in exchange for twenty-eight 
parts of Sowerby's "English Botany"; Rossmassler's "Icono- 
graphy," 3 vols., coloured plates; Jeffrey's "British Concho- 
I°gy»" 5 vols., coloured plates ; or an equal number of parts of 
the "Journal de Conchyliologie." — J. D. Butterell, 26 Coltman 
Street, Hull. 

Ichthyology. — Any reader of Science-Gossip requiring any 
specimens (in spirits) for anatomy and other purposes who will 
write to me with a view to exchange can obtain a number of 
species according to the time of the year. Address, first instance, 
Alpha, care of A. Reynolds, 58 New North Road, London, N. 

Prepared slides of fossil wood from South Wales coal mea- 
sures in exchange for other objects of interest. — W. H. Harris, 
44 Partridge Road, Cardiff. 

Polyzoa. fossil or recent, for exchange. — C. F. Ogilvie, Size- 
well House, Leiston, Suffolk. 

Nine good slides for polariser offered for Science-Gossip for 
1870, unbound. Have a very large quantity of foraminiferous 
sand from sponge, and will send on receipt of stamped and 
addressed envelope, W. Wise, Broad Street, Launceston. 

Will give well-mounted slides in exchange for good \ or J 
objective. Send description of objective, and I will send list of 
slides. — J. Horn, 5 Belle Vue Square, Scarborough. 

Wanted, " Monograph of British Graphides," by Rev. W. A. 
Leighton, B.A., or, Mudd's "Manual of British Lichens," 1861. 
Microscopic slides of lichen spores, &c. or other books in 
exchange. — Rev. W. Johnson, 19 Union Lane, Gateshead-on- 

Science-Gossip, 1873 (in fair condition, unbound), in exchange 
for fossils ; or what offers ?— W. H. B., i Percival Street, Long- 
sight, Manchester. 

American, African, Bermuda, European, British eggs, side- 
blown, authenticated, many rarities : Eleonora falcon, Rufus 
swallow, rock-thrush, Tardus cyancus, Alpine chough, Ciuereus 
vulture, Lesser cormorants, imperial eagle, &c, in exchange for 
others. — Sissons, Sharrow, Sheffield. 

Slides of butterfly scales, garden white, small and large heath 
and common blue, for other slides. — W. R. W., 20 London Road, 

British birds' eggs, side-blown, picked, labelled j well-marked 
specimens. List free. Also complete collection of British 
coleoptera, male and female specimen of every known British 
variety ; 8000 specimens, artistically mounted on cardboard, 
without pins (new style) ; correctly named. Particulars sent. 
Exchange arranged by letter. Foreign correspondence solicited. 
— Henry Sissons, Westbourne Road, Sheffield. 

Wanted, Science-Gossip for 1873, bound or loose. Must 
be in good condition. Will give well-mounted micro slides or 
cash. — F. Kellow, 94 Long Acre, W. C., London. 

Offered, Scottish fossils and American lepidoptera. Wanted, 
fossils, brachiopoda, or fish-remains preferred. — T. Stock, 16 
Colville Place, Edinburgh. 

Well-mounted slides for exchange, including good foramini- 
fera, animal hairs, &c. — J. Ford, Wood View, New Bridge 
Crescent, Wolverhampton. 

For section of clematis, send well-mounted slide to Thomas 
Shipton, The Terrace, Chesterfield. 

Side-blown eggs for exchange (mute swan, carrion crow, 
magpie, sedge warbler, pied wagtail, and others). — James 
Ingleby, Eavestone, near Kipon. 

In duplicate, about 100 different species of the British land 
and fresh-water shells, including well-authenticated examples of 
Vertigo miuutissima, V. alpestris, V. pusilla, V. substriata, 
F.angustior, Limnrr.a involuta, Succinca oblonga. Desiderata ; 
Good _ foreign land shells, Helices, Bulimi, Achatina, &c. ; also 
Pisidium roscum, P. obtusale, L. Burnetii, Pupa ringens. — 
W. Sutton, Upper Claremont, Newcastle-on-Tyne. 

Science-Gossip from January 1874 to December 1878, inclusive 
(three numbers missing); also "Nature" for 1876 (one part 
missing) ; both unbound, in good order. For objects, &c, or a 
parrot, or anything useful. Please send offers. — J. J. Macintosh, 
47 Aylmer Street, Montreal, Canada. 

I have about a dozen splendid exotic butterflies, also many 
other natural history specimens, for disposal or exchange. Send 
for list. — "Science," 165 White Ladies Road, Bristol. 

Ianthina communis (small), in exchange for Isocardia Cor, 
Cytherea chione, ScalariaTurtonis, or other rare marine slides. 
— J. W. D. Keogh, 25 Camperdown Place, Great Yarmouth. 

Offered, infusoria, entomostraceans, crustaceans, isopod 
crustaceans, rotifers, sponges in spirit, fresh-water polypes, 
scales of young crocodile, sea-urchins, and spines and pedicel- 
laria; of sea-urchin and starfish, for specimens of small verte- 
brate animals or bones of such. — Leo. 144 Finborough Road, 
Earl's Court, S.W., London. 

North of Ireland beach and estuarine clay floatings and 
chalk flint powder, each rich in foraminifera, for good geological 
or microscopic objects. — Wm. Gray, Mount Charles, Belfast. 

Slides ofdiatoms, hoofs, horns of animals, &c, well-mounted, 
for other well-mounted objects. — H. B. Thomas, 34 Montpelier 
Street, Montpelier Square, S.W., London. 

Quantity of first-class micro slides of general interest well- 
mounted, and large assortment of unmounted material. Wanted 
magic lantern, 3£-inch condenser and slides ; photo apparatus, 
&c. All letters answered. — T. M'Gann, Burren, county Clare. 


"Ramsay's Physical Geology and Geography of Great 
Britain." Fifth edition. London : E. Stanford, Charing Cross. 

" Flowers and their Unbidden Guests." By Professor Kirner. 
Translated by Dr. Ogle. London : Kegan Paul & Co. 

"Wild Sports and Natural History in the Highlands." By 
C. St. John. London : John Murray. 

" Six Months in Ascension." By Mrs. Gill. London : John 

" South-Western Pennsylvania in Song and Story." By Frank 
Cowan, Greensbury, Pa. 

" Proceedings of the Natural History Society of Glasgow. 
Vol. iii. part iii. 

" Science pour Tous." 

" Feuille des Jeunes Naturalistes." 

"Canadian Entomologist." 

"American Naturalist." 

"Midland Naturalist." 

"Land and Water." 

" Chambers's Journal." ' 

&c. &c. &c. 

Communications received up to ioth ult. from : — 
T. S.— R. D.— W. G. S.-H. L.— J. H.— G. H.— E. S.— R. M. 
— E. C— Dr. G. H. H.— L. C— Dr. A. G. S. T.— S. M— Dr. 
A. M. McA.— J. B. E.— S. B.— J. G.— S. G.— A. S.— H. B.— 
A. H. S. W.— R. G.— Dr. H. F. P.— Professor B.— J. A. S.— 

C. E. R.— W. H. H.— E. M.— V. C— F. C.— E. H. R.— J. D 

W. J.— A. W.— H. E. W.— J. D. B.— F. C. M.— J. W. B.— 
H. E. N.— J. A. W.— G. C— B. L. M.— M. L.— A. C. C— 
H. D. B.— J. R. N.— R. W. W.— T. R. J.— H. S.— J. M.W.— 
T. S. —J. F.— F. T. F.— W. H. B.-W. R. W.— F. C K.— 
T. S.— W. S.— F. H. A.— J. I.— J. J. M.— E. T. S.— J. W. D. K. 
— W. G.— R. S. P.— J. F. R— J. C— H. B. T.— W. R. W.— 
J. W. S.— T. McG.— E. F. C— &c. 


2 5 




, O fewer than twenty- 
five working mem- 
bers during the 
past season have 
forwarded parcels 
for exchange. 
Most of the collec- 
tions were small, 
though they were 
excellently pre- 
served and label- 
led. We prefer, 
however, mention- 
ing any novelty 
(with the locality 
where it was col- 
lected), although 
we feel bound to 
give any notes for- 
warded with the 
parcels when they 
are of public interest. Thus, Mr. Cunnack, ofHelston, 
writes : — 

" Lavatera sylvestris : without doubt wild on 
Tresco, St. Agnes, and St. Mary's, Scilly Isles, 
especially on the first-named. Valerianella carinata : 
very plentiful near the town of Helston. Mentha 
pubescens, Willd. : authenticated by Dr. Syme. Plen- 
tiful in the corner of a damp meadow near Pengersick 
Castle, in the parish of Breaze, about five miles west 
of Helston. M. sylvestris is particularly abundant 
close to it. Two forms of M. pubescens were observed, 
one spicate, the other a subspicate form. Echium 
violaceum : in great plenty in fields near St. Just, West 
Cornwall, one where potatoes had been planted being 
full of it, presenting a beautiful appearance. There 
were thousands of specimens in full flower. There 
seems no reasonable doubt of its being a native. 
Juncus capitatns : very plentiful this year near Caer- 
thillian Valley, extending to Gue Graze Valley, about 
a mile and a half distant." 

Mr. King, of Edinburgh, also notes : — " Symphytum 
tuberosum : a somewhat local plant in the neighbour- 
hood of Edinburgh, where we gathered the specimens 
sent on the banks of the Braid Burn. The plant is 
No. 170. 

plentiful on the shady side of the rivulet ; on the 
opposite bank we saw not a single specimen. On 
the banks of the Water of Leith, near Bonnington, we 
have gathered a stray plant, mixed with the butterbur 
and other coarse plants. Lolium temulentum, Linn., 
is another local species in our neighbourhood, and 
about Leith, waste ground in proximity to the docks, 
and adjoining sea-beach, this plant is found less or 
more for these three years back. In the month of 
July, I found a single clump on the banks of the Firth 
of Forth, about one mile west from Granton. The 
variety arve?ise I have not collected previous to the 
past summer. Car ex pendula, Linn. : on the railway 
bank near Trinity, where I gathered this plant, the 
soil is poor and wet, the rusty water oozing out in all 
directions. This sedge favours a soil containing com- 
pounds of iron." 

Mr. A. Brotherston observes several good things, 
as follows: — " Salix Russelliana, var. : very near, if 
not quite, fragilis on the one hand, to alba on the 
other ; apparently it is a hybrid between these two. 
The male, which was unknown to Sir J. E. Smith, is 
not uncommon in this district. Ranunculus fluitans, 
var. Bachii, Wirt. : Tweed, near Kelso, and Teviot 
near Roxburgh Castle, July, 1878. I send a few 
specimens from four different plants, some of them 
with well-developed floating leaves. Though perhaps 
not typical Bachii, they are nearest that form." 

We were glad to be able to distribute this valuable 
specimen to all our members. We trust they will 
study it carefully ; perhaps some of them may be able 
to note other characteristics. Also, a few carefully 
selected examples of what we suppose to be Salix 
ambigua, Ehrh., are sent out. Is not S. ambigua a 
variable hybrid betwixt S. repens and 6". aurita ? 
These specimens are for comparison with others. 

Picris hieracioides, var. arvalis : Tweedside, near 
Kelso, June, 1878. Probably introduced with grass 
seeds. Carex Watsoni, Syme : Tweedside, Makers- 
town, Roxburgh, June, 1878. Plentiful many places 
on Tweedside, occurring in long narrow beds close to 
the edge of the river. Potamogeton pectinatus, L. : 
Teviot, near Kelso, Roxburgh, July, 1878. This is a 
common species on the borders. 

Mrs. Edwards finds Eranthis hyemalis in a wood at 




Subbery, on the borders of Derbyshire, "probably 
introduced to this locality." Also Crocus nudiflorns, 
from a hilly pasture in the village of Walstanton, 
Salop. "We have it from several localities this 
season, in fact from all the neighbouring counties." 

Amongst the novelties which will be doubtless 
highly valued by all our contributors are the fol- 
lowing : — Ruppia spiralis : Bospham, Sussex. Coll. 
Rev. F. H. Arnold. Mentha pubescens : by a rivulet, 
Pra Sands, West Cornwall. Coll. W. Curnow. Tha- 
lictrum flexiwsiim, Bernh. : cut from plants four to 
five feet in height, growing in an exposed situation at 
Bala Lake. Coll. C. Bailey, F.L.S. Seseli Libanotis : 
Cuckmere, near Sleaford, Sussex. Coll. H. E. Wil- 
kinson. Sarothamnus prostratus : Lizard Point, Corn- 
wall. Coll. J. Cunnack. Trifolium Townsendi : St. 
Martin's, Scilly Isles. Coll. W. Curnow. Zostera 
nana : river Tamar, East Cornwall. Coll. W. Curnow. 
Lavatera arborea : Tresco, Scilly Isles. Coll. W. 
Curnow. Orobanche rubra, Sm. : Lizard Point. Coll. 
W. Curnow. Orobanche amethysta : St. Mary's, Scilly 
Isles. Coll. J. Cunnack. Orobanche amethysta: St. 
Ouen's Bay, Jersey. Coll. J. Cosmo Melville, Esq. 
Papaver somnifcrum $. glabrnm : Rosley, Cumberland. 
Coll. Rev. R. Wood. Polygonum cognatiim : Wes- 
terley Ware, Kew. Coll. T. R. Sim. Viola per mixta, 
var. sepincola : Merstham, Surrey. Coll. W. H. Beeby. 
Cyperus fuscus, Linn. : Pond-side, Shalford Common, 
Surrey. Coll. W. H. Beeby. Potamogeton zosteri- 
folins : Spondon, Derby. Coll. Rev. W. H. Painter. 
CallitricJie obtnsangtila : Mitcham, Surrey. Coll. A. 
Bennett, Esq. Rumex maritimns : Groby Pool, 
Leicestershire. Coll. E. F. Cooper. Triticum acutum, 
DC. : Leith, Edinburgh. Coll. D. Douglas. We 
have sent out a large supply of this species for our 
friends to compare with other herbaria specimens, 
the name being somewhat doubtful ; many of the 
examples closely resemble T. repens, Linn. 

We return our thanks to all members for the 
excellent manner in which the specimens have been 
got up. In some instances it is impossible by any 
other means to secure so valuable a rarity, for 
example, as the Cyperus mentioned above. Our best 
thanks, and those of the members, are also due to 
Mr. J. F. Robinson for acting as curator. 

LARYNX, etc. 

By Dr. George Bennett, F.L.S. &c. 

DURING a visit^to the Island of Singapore, on 
the 13th of November, 1830, a male specimen 
of this interesting animal was presented to me. The 
animal had been recently brought by a Malay lad 
from the Menangkabau country, in the interior of 
Sumatra. The Malays at Singapore called this animal 

the "ungka"; by Sir Stamford Raffles it has been 
stated as being called the siamang among the natives ; 
and the ungka ape is described by F. Cuvier as the 
onko, in his splendid work on the Mammalia. On 
making inquiry among the Malays at Singapore, they 
denied this animal being the siamang, at the same 
time stating that the siamang resembled it in form, 
but differed in having the eyebrows and hair around 
the face of a white colour. 

The Simla synddctyla is described and figured in 
Dr. Horsfield's " Zoology of Java ;" but the engrav- 
ing does not give a correct idea of the animal. The 
following sketches are taken from drawings made 
by Charles Landseer, Esq., from the original. My 
specimen was a young male. It is preserved in the 
collection of the British Museum. 

I now proceed to relate the habits of the animal as 
observed by me on board the ship " Sophia," during 
the passage to England. The measurement of the 
animal was as follows : — From the os calcis to the 
vertex of the head, 2 ft. 4 in. ; span of the arms, 4 ft. ; 
length of the arm, from the axilla to the termination 
of the forefinger, 1 ft. ioi| in. ; length of the leg from 
the groin to the os calcis, 1 1 in. ; length from the 
xiphoid or ensiform cartilage to the crest of the pubis, 

7h in- 

The teeth are twelve in each jaw ; four incisors, 
two canine, and six molars : in the upper jaw the 
canine were placed widely apart from the last incisor, 
giving an appearance as if a tooth was deficient : this 
did not occur in the lower jaw. The teeth of the 
animal were in very bad condition. The colour of 
the animal is entirely black, being covered with stiff 
hair of a beautiful jet black over the whole body ; the 
face has no hair, except on the sides as whiskers, and 
the hair stands forward from the forehead over the 
eyes ; there is little beard. The skin of the face is 
black ; the arms are very long, the radius and ulna 
being of greater length than the os humeri ; the hair 
on the arm runs in one direction, viz. downwards, 
that on the forearm upwards ; the hands are long and 
narrow, fingers long and tapering ; thumb short, not 
reaching farther than the first joint of the forefinger ; 
the palms of the hands and soles of the feet are bare 
and black ; the legs are short in proportion to the 
arms and body ; the feet are long, prehensile, and, 
when the animal is in a sitting posture (fig. 29), are 
turned inwards, and the toes are bent. The first and 
second toes are united (except at the last joint) by a 
membrane, from which circumstance he has derived 
his specific name. He invariably walks in the erect 
posture when on a level surface ; and then the arms 
either hang down, enabling him sometimes to assist 
himself with his knuckles ; or, what is more usual, he 
keeps his arms uplifted in an erect position, with the 
hands pendent (fig. 28), ready to seize a rope and 
climb up on the approach of any danger, or on the 
intrusion of strangers. He walks rather quickly in the 
erect posture, but with a waddling gait, and is soon 



run down if whilst pursued he has no opportunity of 
escaping by climbing. On the foot are five toes, the 
great toe being placed like the thumb of the hand ; 
the form of the foot is somewhat similar to that of the 
hand, having an equal prehensile power ; the great 
toe has a capability of much extension outwards, 
which enlarges the surface of the foot when the animal 
walks ; the toes are short, the great toe is the longest. 
The eyes of the animal are close together, with the 
irides of a hazel colour : the upper eyelids have 
lashes, the lower have none : the nose is confluent 
with the face, except at the nostrils, which are a little 
elevated ; nostrils on each side, and the nose united 
to the upper lip : the mouth large : ears small, and 
resembling the human, but without the pendent lobe. 
He has nails on the fingers and toes ; he has two hard 
tubercles on the tuberosities of the ischium, but is 
destitute of a tail or even the rudiments of one. 

His food is various : he prefers vegetable diet, as 
rice, plantains, &c, and was ravenously fond of 
carrots, of which we had some quantity preserved on 
board. He would drink tea, coffee, and chocolate, 
but neither wine nor spirits : of animal food he pre- 
fers fowl to any other ; but a lizard having been 
caught on board, and placed before him, he took 
it immediately in his paw, and greedily devoured it. 

The first instance I observed of his attachment was 
soon after the animal had been presented to me by 
Mr. Boustead. On entering the yard in which he was 
tied up, one morning, I was not well pleased at 
observing him busily engaged in removing his belt 
and cord, at the same time whining and uttering 
a peculiar squeaking noise. When loose, he walked 
in the usual erect posture towards some Malays who 
were standing near the place ; and after hugging the 
legs of several of the party, he went to a Malay lad, 
climbed upon and hugged him closely, having an ex- 
pression, in both the look and manner, of gratification 
at being once again in the arms of him who, I now 
understood, was his former master. When this lad 
sold him to Mr. Boustead, whenever the animal could 
get loose he would make for the water-side, the Malay 
lad being usually on board the prau in which they had 
arrived from Sumatra ; and the animal was never 
taken until, having reached the water, he could pro- 
ceed no farther. On sending him aboard the ship, he 
on arriving, after rewarding his conductor with a bite, 
escaped, and ascended the rigging ; but towards the 
evening he came down on the deck and was readily 

He is not able to take up small objects with facility, 
on account of the disproportion of the size of the 
thumb to the fingers. The metacarpal bone of the 
thumb has the mobility of a first joint ; the form of 
both the feet and hands gives a great prehensile power, 
fitted for the woods, where it must be almost impos- 
sible to capture an adult animal alive. 

Under the throat is a large black pouch, a con- 
tinuation of the common integument, and very thinly 

covered with hair : this pouch is not very visible when 
undistended : it is a thick integument, of a blackish 
colour and corrugated appearance. It extends from 
the under part of the chin to the throat, and is attached 
as low down as the upper part of the sternum, and is 
also attached above to the symphysis of the lower 
jaw ; its use is not well known, but it is not impro- 
bable that it is an appendage to the organ of voice. 
Sometimes, when irritated, I have observed him inflate 
the pouch, uttering at the same time a hollow barking 
noise ;* for the production of which, the rushing of the 
air into the sac was an adjuvant. The inflation of the 
pouch was not, however, confined to anger ; for, when 
pleased, he would purse the mouth, drive the air with 
an audible noise into the sac ; or when yawning, it was 
also inflated ; and in all instances he would gradually 
empty the sac, as if he derived a pleasure from it. 
When the sac has been distended, I have often pressed 
on it, and forced the air contained within it into the 
mouth, the animal not evincing at the time any sign of 
its being an annoyance to him. When uttering the 
barking noise, the pouch is not inflated to the same 
extent as when he yawns. It has been stated in an 
American publication, that the use of the air-sac is 
for a swimming-bladder. It may be said in refuta- 
tion (if the assertion is not too absurd to be refuted) 
that the animal being one day washed in a large tub 
of water, although much frightened, did not inflate 
or make the least attempt to inflate the sac. He is 
destitute of cheek pouches as a reservoir for food. 

When sleeping, he lies along either on the side or 
back, resting the head on the hands, and seemed 
always desirous of retiring to rest at sunset ; but 
would often (I suppose from his approximation to 
civilisation) indulge in bed some time after sunrise ; 
and frequently when I awoke I have seen him lying 
on his back, his long arms stretched out, and, with 
eyes open, appearing as if buried in deep reflection. 
The sounds he uttered were various : when pleased 
at a recognition of his friends, he would utter a pecu- 
liar squeaking chirping note ; when irritated, a hollow 
barking noise was produced ; but when angry and 
frightened, or when chastised, the loud guttural 
sounds of ra, ra, ra, invariably followed. When I 
approached him for the first time in the morning, he 
greeted me with his chirping notes, advancing his 
face at the same time, as if intended for the purpose 
of salutation. He had a gravity of look and m'ldness 
of manner, and was deficient in those mischievous 
tricks so peculiar to the monkey tribe. In only one 
instance did I experience any mischief from him, and 
that was in his meddling with my inkstand : he had a 
penchant for the black fluid, would drink the ink, and 
suck the pens, whenever an opportunity offered of his 
gratifying this morbid propensity. He soon knew 
the name of Ungka, which had been given to him ; 

* When the barking noise was made, the lips were pursed 
out, and the air driven into the sac, at the same time that the 
sound was uttered, the lower jaw was also a little protruded. 

C 2 



and would readily come to those to whom he was 
attached when called by that name. His temper was 
mild, and not readily irritated ; his mildness of dis- 
position and playfulness of manner made him a 
universal favourite with all on board. 

When he walks in the erect posture, he turns the 
leg and foot outwards, which occasions him to have 
a waddling gait and a bow-legged appearance. He 
would walk the deck, being held by his long arm, and 
then had a resemblance to a child just learning to 
walk. He has an awkward manner of drinking, by 
which the liquid is much wasted : he first applies his 
lips to the liquid, 
throwing the head 
up, which may in 
some degree be attri- 
buted to the promi- 
nency of the lower 
jaw ; and if the vessel 
in which the liquid is 
contained should be 
shallow, he dips the 
paw into it, holds it 
over the mouth, let- 
ting the liquid drop 
in. I never observed 
him lap with the 
tongue when drink- 
ing ; but when tea 
or coffee was given 
to him, the lingual 
organ was carefully 
protruded for the pur- 
pose of ascertaining 
its temperature. He 
usually (on first com- 
ing on board), after 
taking exercise about 
the rigging, retired to 
rest at sunset, in the 
maintop, coming on 
deck at daylight. 
This continued until 
our arrival off the 
Cape, when, expe- 
riencing a lower tem- 
perature, he expressed an eager desire to be taken in 
my arms, and indulged by being permitted to pass 
the night in my cabin, for which he evinced such a 
decided partiality, that on the return of warm weather 
he would not retire to the maintop, but was always 
eager to pass the night in the cabin. 

He was playful, but preferred children to adults ; 
he became particularly attached to a little Papuan 
child who was on board, and who, it is not impro- 
bable, he] may [have in some degree considered as 
having an affinity to his species. They were often 
seen sitting near the capstan, the animal with his long 
paw around her neck, lovingly eating biscuit together. 

Fig. 27. — The Ungka Ape {Simia synddctyld) at home. 

She would lead him about by his long arms ; and it 
was very amusing to see him running round the cap- 
stan pursued by or pursuing the child ; he would 
waddle along at a rapid pace, sometimes aiding him- 
self by his knuckles ; but, when fatigued, would spring 
aside, seize a rope, and ascend a short distance, safe 
from pursuit. In a playful manner he would roll on 
deck with the child, displaying a mock combat, 
pushing with his feet (in which action he seems to 
possess great muscular power), entwining his arms 
around her, and pretending to bite ; or, seizing a 
rope, he would swing towards her, and, when efforts 

were made to seize 
him, would elude the 
grasp by swinging 
away; or he would 
drop suddenly on her 
from the ropes aloft, 
and then engage in 
various playful antics. 
He would play in a 
similar manner with 
adults, but always 
seemed to have a pre- 
ference for children. 
If an attempt was, 
however, made by the 
child to play with him 
when he had no in- 
clination, or after he 
had sustained some 
disappointment, he 
usually made a slight 
impression with his 
teeth on her arm, just 
sufficient to act as a 
warning that no liber- 
ties were to be taken 
with his person ; or 
as the child would 
say, " Ungka no like 
play now." Not un- 
frequently, a string 
being tied to his leg, 
the child would amuse 
herself by dragging 
the patient animal about the deck ; tired, however, 
of such practical jokes, without having himself any 
share in the fun, he endeavoured to disengage him- 
self and retire ; on finding his efforts fruitless, he 
would quietly walk up to the child, make an im- 
pression with his teeth on one of the members that 
were the nearest, soon terminate the sport, and procure 
his liberty. 

There were also on board the ship several small 
monkeys, with whom Ungka was desirous of forming 
interesting "conversaziones," to introduce a social 
character among them, to while away the tedious 
hours, and to dissipate the monotony of the voyage ; 



but to this the monkeys would not accede, and they 
all cordially united to repel the approaches of the 
"little man in black," by chattering, and sundry 
other hostile movements peculiar to their race. 
Ungka, thus repelled in his endeavours to establish a 
social intercourse, determined to punish them for their 
impudence ; when they again united to repel him, by 
chattering and divers other impudent tricks, he seized 
a rope, and, swinging towards the nearest, seized his 
"caudal appendage," and hauled away upon it, until 
the agility of the monkey obliged him to relinquish 
his hold. But it not unfrequently happened that he 
made his way up the rigging, dragging the monkey 
by the tail after him, and if he required both hands 

Fig. 28. — Ungka Ape in erect position. 

to expedite his ascent, the tail of his captive would be 
passed into the prehensile power of his foot. These 
ludicrous scenes were performed by Ungka with the 
most perfect gravity of countenance ; having no 
caudal extremity himself, he knew he was free from 
any retaliation. As this treatment was far from 
being amusing to the monkeys, they afterwards either 
avoided him, or made so formidable a defence on his 
approach, that Ungka was obliged to refrain from 
indulging himself in "tale-bearing." He had, how- 
ever, such an inclination to draw out tails, that, being 
obliged from "peculiar circumstances" to relinquish 
those of the monkeys, he cultivated the friendship of 
a little pig that ran about the deck, and, taking his 
tail in his hand, endeavoured, by frequent pulling, to 
reduce it from a curled to a straight form ; but all his 
efforts were in vain ; although piggy did not express 
any ill-feeling at his kind endeavours. On the din- 

ner being announced by the steward, he invariably 
entered the cuddy, took his station near the table, 
and " scraps were thankfully received." If when 
once at dinner he was laughed at, he vented his 
indignation at being made the subject of ridicule, 
by uttering his peculiar hollow barking noise, at the 
same time inflating the air-sac, and regarding the 
persons laughing with a most serious look until they 
had ceased, when he would quietly resume his dinner. 
He disliked confinement, or being left alone ; when 
shut up, he would display great ebullition of temper, 
but would be perfectly quiet when released. At sun- 

Fig. 29. — Ungka Ape in sitting position. 

set when desirous of retiring to rest, he would ap- 
proach his friends, uttering his peculiar chirping note, 
beseeching to be taken into their arms : his request 
once acceded to, any attempt to remove him was 
followed by violent screams ; he clung still closer to 
the person in whose arms he was lodged, and it was 
difficult to remove him until he fell asleep. His 
tailless appearance, when the back is turned towards 
the spectator, and his erect posture, gives an appear- 
ance of a little black hairy man. 

The limbs, from their muscular and strong pre- 
hensile power, render the animal a fit inhabitant for 
the forest (fig. 27) ; enabling him to spring from tree 
to tree with an agility that we have frequently wit- 
nessed him display about the rigging of the ship ; 



passing down the backstays, sometimes hanging by 
his bands, at others by walking down them in the 
erect posture, like a rope-dancer, balancing himself 
by his long arms ; or he would spring from one rope 
at a great distance to another, or would drop from 
one above to another below. Being aware of his 
inability to readily escape pursuit when running on a 
level surface, his first object, when about to make an 
attack, was to secure a rope, and swing towards the 
object he was desirous of attacking ; if defeated, he 
eluded pursuit by climbing out of reach. He was 
very fond of sweetmeats, dates, &c. ; some Manilla 
sweet cakes that were on board he was always eager 
to procure, and would not unfrequently enter the 
cabin in which they were kept, and endeavour to lift 
the cork of the jar : he was not less fond of onions, 
although their acridity would cause him to sneeze and 
loll out his tongue ; when he took one he put it in 
his mouth, and ate it with great rapidity. He could 
not endure disappointment, and, like the human 
species, was always better pleased when he had his 
own way ; when refused anything, he would display 
all the'ebullitions of temper of a spoiled child, lie on 
deck, roll about, throw his arms and legs in various 
directions, dash everything about that might be within 
his reach, walk about, repeat the same scene as be- 
fore, uttering during the time the guttural notes of 
ra, ra ; the employment of coercive measures during 
the paroxysms reduced him in a short period to a 
system of obedience, and the temper was in some de- 
gree checked. He had not an unapt resemblance to 
a spoiled child, who may justly be defined as papa's 
pride, mamma's darling, the visitor's terror, and an 
annoyance to all the living animals, men and maid 
servants, dogs, cats, &c, in the house that he may be 

The position of the feet, when the animal walks, is 
turned outwards, and the great toe, which has a 
capability of great extension, is spread out wide, 
giving a broader surface to the foot ; when he walks, 
to use a nautical phrase, "he sways the body," and 
stepping at once on the whole of the under surface of 
the foot, occasions a pattering noise, like that which 
is heard when a duck or any aquatic bird walks on 
the deck of a ship. 

When the weather is cold, he is seen huddled 
together, loses all his lively and playful manner, and 
sleeps much during the day : on the return of warm 
weather, it imparts life to the animal ; his spirits 
revive, he resumes his gambols and sportive gaiety. 
Although every kindness was shown to him by the 
officers and crew, and sweetmeats were given to him 
by them, he would not permit himself to be taken in 
the arms, or caressed familiarly by any person on 
board during the voyage, except the commander, Mr. 
Hays, the third officer, and myself ; all those, in 
particular, who wore large bushy whiskers he parti- 
cularly avoided. 

When he came at sunset to be taken into my arms, 

and was refused, he would display a paroxysm of 
rage, but that being unsuccessful, he would mount 
the rigging, and hanging over the deck on which I 
was walking, would suddenly drop himself into my 
arms. It was ludicrous to behold the terrified looks 
of the animal, and half-suppressed screams, if his 
finger was taken towards a cup of hot tea, as if to 
ascertain its temperature. He would frequently hang 
from a rope by one arm, and, when in a frolicsome 
humour, frisk about, shut his eyes, and have a re- 
semblance to a person hanging and in the agonies 
of death. When strangers came on board, he ap- 
proached them at such a distance as he considered 
consistent with his ideas of safety. The only lady 
who had honoured him with her notice was one who 
came on board from a ship (" Euphrates ") we spoke at 
sea ; he evinced, however, no partiality to the gentle 
sex, and would not permit her to caress him : whether 
it was the bonnet, which was a la mode of 1828, or 
other portions of the lady's dress, that excited his 
indignation, I know not ; but he was evidently ;iot 
eager to become acquainted with her : as she appeared 
at first timid of approaching the animal, it may in 
some degree have occasioned the cunning brute to 
keep up the feeling. 

On the 19th of March (1831) we had reached the 
latitude 45 41' N. and longitude 24 40' W. ; the 
animal seemed (although clothed in flannel) to suffer 
much from cold, and he was attacked by dysentery : 
his attachment was so great, that he would prefer 
going on the deck, in the cold air, with the persons 
to whom he was attached, to remaining in the warm 
cabin with those whom he did not regard. On the 
24th he became much worse, his appetite gone, and 
he had a dislike of being moved ; the discharge from 
the bowels was bilious, mixed with blood and mucus, 
sometimes entirely of blood and mucus, with a putre- 
scent odour : the breath had a sickly odour, mouth 
clammy, eyes dull and suffused ; drank a little water 
occasionally, and sometimes a little tea ; he generally 
remained with his head hanging on the breast, and 
limbs huddled together ; he would, however, when 
yawning, inflate the pouch as usual. On the 29th we 
had prevailing easterly winds ; and he was daily 
sinking until the 31st of March, when he died, in 
latitude 48 36' N., longitude 9 1' W. 

On examination, the thoracic viscera were healthy ; 
the spleen was healthy, of small size, and lobulated 
at one extremity ; the liver was large and healthy, 
the difference in size between that organ and the 
spleen was considerable in comparison with the rela- 
tive proportions of those organs in the human subject ; 
the gall bladder contained a small quantity of dark, 
thick, and viscid bile ; some of the mesenteric glands 
were enlarged, some being of a white, others of a dark 
colour. On laying open the duodenum, it was found 
to contain a quantity of mucus slightly tinged with 
bile ; the colon and caecum were full of liquid bilious 
fasces mixed with mucus, and several ulcerated patches 



on the inner surface, and a dark spotted appearance 
at others ; the rectum also contained similar faeces, 
but mixed with a curdy matter, and there were several 
large patches of ulceration on the inner coat, more 
particularly near the termination of the gut : the 
kidneys were healthy, on the right the capsula renalis 
was large, but none was visible on the left ; the 
bladder was quite empty, the inner surface scarcely 
moist. The animal had been castrated, but the sper- 
matic cord terminated in the scrotum in two small 
oval substances, rather larger than peas ; the sacrum 
and os coccygis were similar to those parts in the 
human subject. The communication of the larynx 
was examined ; the epiglottis was only indicated by a 
slight obtuse angular rising ; the sacculi laryngis three- 
eighths of an inch in the long diameter, one-eighth 
in the short ; their margins were well defined, con- 
tinued forwards below the body of the os hyoides 
into a membranous sac situated internal to the external 
thick one. This animal has one common sac, and 
thus differs from the orang-utan, which has two ; the 
lungs also differ from those in the orang-utan in being 
subdivided on each side, the right lung having three, 
the left two lobes, as in the human subject. The 
extremities of the bones of the animal were cartila- 

When at Achua, on the coast of Sumatra, the 
Rajah and suite came on board, and I amused them 
with some drawings, among others they recognised 
that of the Pearly Nautilus, but said it was seldom 
procured at this place, but was occasionally seen off 
the coast. They were not acquainted with the orang- 
utan of which I showed them the engraving in Abel's 
" China," but immediately recognised that of the ungka 
gibbon, which, they stated, was found in the forests 
of the interior of the island, but was very difficult to 
capture alive. As mentioned by the Rajah there 
must be great difficulty in procuring them alive, as 
since the one given me at Singapore, I am not aware 
of any specimen, young or adult, of this species of 
gibbon having ever been brought alive to Europe. 


IN 1843 Mr. William Purdie was despatched to 
New Granada to collect plants for the Royal 
Gardens, Kew. He was especially instructed to find 
a few special plants, one of which was the ivory-nut 
palm, of which he says : — "In a journey of 600 miles 
from Santa Martha to Ocana in New Granada, at the 
village of Semana, seventeen leagues from hence 
(Ocana), and near the great river Magdalena, I 
entered the mountains by the Paroquia del Carmen, 
and saw for the first time the ivory-nut palm (Phyt- 
elephas fnacrocarpa), called Tagua by the natives. 
The habit of this palm is to have little or no stem, 
what there is is decumbent ; its habit is not robust. 
Old plants have from fifteen to twenty pinnate leaves, 

which when full grown measure nearly twenty feet in 
length, of a delicate pale green colour, and very 
graceful in aspect ; the pinnae are numerous and 
linear, the whole leaf being similar to that of the 
date palm. The male and female flowers are pro- 
duced on separate plants (dioecious). The female 
flowers are produced generally in six clusters from 
the bases of the leaves on short footstalks. The 
clusters are of an imperfectly rounded form, covered 
with strong protuberances, about an inch and a half 
long. The clusters are compactly united together, 
forming a nearly globose head, and on account of the 
style-like projections resembling the rigid hair of a 
negro it is not inaptly called Cabeza del Negro (negro's 
head). The h«tids lie close to the ground, each cluster 
containing four to five seeds. The seed contains at 
first a clear insipid fluid ; it afterwards becomes milky 
and sweet, and ultimately hardens, and becomes the 
vegetable ivory of commerce. Each nut is about the 
size of a green walnut, and is covered with a yellow, 
sweet, oily pulp, which is collected and sold under 
the name of Pepo del Tagua, for one real (6a'.) a 
pound at Ocana. A spoonful of it, with a little 
sugar and water, makes the celebrated Chiche de 
Tagua, said to be the most delicious beverage of 
the country." 

The stem of the male plant is longer and more 
erect than that of the female, regarding which Mr. 
Purdie says : "I have at last had the good fortune to 
detect the male flowers of the ivory-nut palm, for 
which I long sought in vain. The singularity of its 
inflorescence is only equalled by its beauty. It differs 
from most other • palms by having a double spathe ; 
the central column is thickly set with clusters of male 
blossoms, and forms, when taken all together, a mass 
three feet long and four inches thick. Half is con- 
cealed within the spathe, from which the other portion 
projects in a gracefully recurved form. The fragrance 
is most powerful and delicious, beyond that of any 
other plant, and so diffusive that the air for many 
yards around was alive with myriads of annoying 
insects, which first attracted my attention, the dense- 
ness of the vegetation not permitting me to discern 
the blossoms at any distance. I had afterwards to 
carry it in my hands for twelve miles, and though I 
killed a number of insects that followed me, the next 
day a great many still hovered about it, which had 
come from the wood where it grew, which are dense 
and shady, and abound with snakes. The men I had 
with me found it necessary to dislodge them from the 
plants with a long stick before they approached them. 
We killed several, not particularly formidable in 
appearance, but deadly in their nature. A cross, 
decorated with flowers and a few loose stones, near 
one of the Tagua woods, marks the grave of a young 
man who died a few hours after being bitten by one 
of these snakes." 

Mr. Purdie having sent abundance of seeds to Kew, 
many plants were raised, one of which in 1864 had 

3 2 


formed a decumbent stem about a foot in length, 
producing leaves 15 to 16 feet long. 

Dr. Berthold Seemann, also a botanical collector for 
Kew, found the Phytelephas in abundance in Darien ; 
he gives a very interesting account of it, which in all 
principal points agrees with the above. 

J. Sm. 


IT has often occurred to the writer of these few 
lines that it is a pity that so many practical 
dodges as must have been adopted by various micro- 
scopical manipulators should be lost, as it is to be 
feared they have been from time to time. Unless 
called out by queries, they seldom appear in the form 
of suggestions. Acting under this impression, the 
writer is led to call attention to two or three little 
arrangements which he has found very useful, hoping 
that others will follow the example. 

Fig. 30. — Brass stand to 
support the forehead 
whilst making micro- 
scopical drawings. 

Fig. 31. — Improved wash- 

In making drawings of objects seen under the 
microscope (for which purpose no apparatus is so 
satisfactory and easy to use as Natchet's prism or 
camera), most persons must be conscious that a steady 
head is as requisite as a steady hand. To insure this, 
a very simple plan (fig. 30) has been adopted for a 
long time by the writer. It is this : — two thin stair- 
rods (a, a) of any convenient length are fastened by 
one end into a stand of brass or wood (b), and just as 
far apart as to admit the head between them. Then 
there is a sliding flat bar (c), which can be screwed 
tight at any height. Round this is wrapped any soft 
substance, as lint or list, on which the forehead is 
placed just in the position desired. A steadiness and 
comfort are thus at once obtained which greatly assist 
the draughtsman. 

Again, in using the wash-bottle the following little 
alteration will be found most convenient. (Fig. 31.) 
In place of having two glass tubes, one of which is 
placed in the mouth, let this mouth-tube be broken 
off an inch or two above the cork, and upon it fit an 
elastic indiarubber tube (a) of any convenient length, 

say nine inches ; then a couple of inches of glass tube 
put into the free end (b) makes a nice mouthpiece. 
The advantage is obvious, as this plan allows the head 
to be moved nearer to or farther from the object 
without interfering with the position of the bottle. 
This has been used by the writer for many years. 

Other suggestions may follow if it is thought 

Codicote Vicarage. T. R. I. 


IT may interest your readers to learn something 
regarding the traces that have been left of the 
glacial period in this vicinity, which has proved to 
be a very interesting one in regard to that part of 
geological history. 

Edinburgh is surrounded by an extent of country 
covered, more or less, with a thick layer of boulder 
clay. In most of the excavations in and around the 
city, this is reached after passing through the soil 
to an average depth of six to seven feet. To the 
south of the city, away on the first slopes rising 
towards the Pentland hills, the boulder clay is very 
thick, and forms a fine basin for the new reservoir in 
course of construction at Alnwick hill. From that 
point we can trace the clay to the north, through the 
Newington district of the town, where I have found it 
with the usual striated boulders. Passing through 
the city this deposit disappears on reaching the ridge 
which goes upwards towards the castle, till we 
approach Leith Walk, where it is again found. Some 
cuttings at Pilrig — the border-land between Edin- 
burgh and Leith — have revealed the boulder-clay 
about seven feet from the surface. It is not, however, 
till we examine the shore at Leith that we get any- 
thing like a good section of it ; and here both the 
mercantile enterprise of that town and the denuding 
power of the ocean, have come to our aid. As a 
result of the latter, the banks which rise against the 
sea between Leith and Portobello, are gradually 
giving way and receding, revealing the tough boulder 
clay, which seems to die hard in its battle with the 

When the boulders are found in situ, they are 
almost invariably lying with their longer axis from 
W. S. W. to E. N. E., and are striated in the same 
direction. This agrees with the strise in Arthur's 
Seat, a hill rising to the east of Edinburgh and 
about two miles from the coast. I have found those 
boulders all along the coast from Cramond to Joppa, 
a distance of nine miles, but they are best seen 
between Leith and Portobello, where they lie thickly 
and where many of them have beautifully marked 
striae. The ground here has been rendered geologi- 
cally classic by the writings of Dr. Robert Chambers 
and Hugh Miller ; the former however, attributing 
the phenomena in question to the agency of the sea 



during the various changes of its level, while Miller 
detected in them the signs of a power now foreign to 
this country. When Miller worked here, the boulder 
clay was not so well exposed as it is now, and the 
examination is thus rendered much easier. Owing 
to the increase of trade at Leith, a new and very 
large dock is being constructed to the east of the 
town. In order to get a sufficient depth of water 
the sea bottom has been excavated, and this has laid 
open fine sections of the various deposits which have 
accumulated there. 

The boulders are generally of greenstone ; and 

be made by one, who attempts for the first time, to 
track the knowledge of early botanists on any point, 
without some general knowledge of the subject- 
matter, i.e., of the plants themselves. I propose 
making the British forms of Thalictrum the most 
prominent subject of my present investigation. 

British botanists are looking forward with interest 
to the Guide to the Literature of Botany promised by 
the Index Society from the pen of Mr. B. Daydon 
Jackson, the accomplished editor of Turner's " Libel - 
lus" and Gerard's " Catalogus ;" but, pending any 
better arrangement, I venture to divide the history of 

Fig. 32. — Section showing the boulder clay, &c. near Leith. a, surface soil ; b, old sea-bed, with gravel layers ; c, boulder - 

clay ; d, present sea-bed. 

seem to have been carried from Arthur's Seat and the 
Corstorphine hill, some distance inland. So far I 
have not observed any of the west country rocks en- 
closed in the clay ; but do not doubt that this is the 
track of the great glacier which, according to Geikie, 
had its origin away in the western highlands. 

Since the deposition of the boulder-clay in this 
locality, the relative position of sea and land seems 
to have changed twice. The following diagram 
shows this ; and also gives a general idea of the posi- 
tion of the deposit at Leith. On the top of the clay 
is found a thick layer of sand and pebbles, giving un- 
mistakable proofs of marine origin, by the stratified 
order of the latter ; while the boulder clay is once 
more raised above the bed of the ocean. A few 
hundred yards from the beach, the boulder clay dis- 
appears on account of the slight incline it takes 
towards the sea, and unless this is noticed, the sudden 
freeness of the shore from boulders is apt to confuse 
the geologist. 

Robert Humphrey. 

[The History of Botany.] 

THE experience of recent years has clearly shown 
the great value' of a historical or chronological 
method of research in nearly every branch of science. 
It may be well, therefore, in taking my own study of 
the genus Thalictrum as an example of critical method 
to give in considerable detail the materials as I have 
collected them. Every study must have a beginning, 
but many errors of interpretation will undoubtedly 

British botany into four periods, the first terminating 
at the year 1670, the second at about the year 1746, 
the third at 1829. 

Without going back to Solomon, or even to Aris- 
totle and his pupil Theophrastus, who, born B.C. 371, 
described some 500 plants, classified as trees, herbs, 
and shrubs, I must 'just mention the name of Peda- 
nius Dioscorides of Anazarba, in Cilicia, whose 
Greek work on Materia Medica is believed to have 
been written in the second century. It seems, how- 
ever, to have been one of Pliny's main sources of in- 
formation, and the author of the " Historia Naturalis," 
born A.D. 23, died in A.D. 79. After the time of 
Pliny it may truly be said, in the words of M. Crepin's 
excellent " Guide du Botaniste en Belgique " — a work 
well meriting an English imitation — "Avantle xvi e 
siecle, la botanique ne peut etre considered comme 
une veritable science. Elle n'etait que l'humble auxi- 
liaire de la medecine ; les plantes n'etaient pas 
etudiees pour elles-memes et les traites qui les 
concernaient n'etaient, pour la plupart, que des com- 
mentaires des ouvrages de Theophraste, de Dioscoride 
et de Pline." Though in the sixteenth century the 
Dutch may fairly claim the credit of possessing the most 
illustrious names in botanical science, Fusch, Dodoens, 
and L'Obel, we in England have reason to be proud 
of the early date (1538) of the first botanical work 
of "the father of British botany," William Turner. 
Turner was born probably between 15 10 and 15 15 ; 
his first work was entitled " Libellus de re Herbaria 
Novus," and has been reproduced in facsimile, and 
edited by Mr. Jackson ; his " Herbal " was completed 
in 1 568, the year of his death. Remade Fusch, born 
at Limbourg, about 1500, died at Liege in 1587, his 



various works, such as ' ' Plantarum omnium quarum 
hodie apud pharmacopolas usus est magis frequens 
nomenclature . . . sententiam," Paris, 1541, being 
mainly materia medica. Rembert Dodoens was born 
at Mechlin in 1517, and died at Leyden in 1585. In 
1554 he published his " Cruydeboeck," which was 
translated into French by Clusius in 1557, into Eng- 
lish by Henry Lyte in 1578, and into Latin, as the 
" Stirpium Historic Pemptades," by the author in 
1583. "La gloire de Dodoens," says Crepin, "est 
d'avoir rompu avec le passe, d'avoir, dans son histoire 
des plantes, etudie la nature par lui-meme. . . . On 
peut dire, en toute verite, que Dodoens est l'inventeur 
de la classification des plantes." His classification is, 
however, hardly worthy of the name. Conrad Gesner, 
born at Zurich in 15 16, published a work, " De Raris 
et Admirandis Herbis," in 1555, but his great work, 
with figures of 1 500 species, was not published when 
in 1565 he died, and his ideas on classification were 
carried out by Andreas Caesalpinus, called by Linnaeus 
"Primus verus systematicus." In his " De Plantis," 
published at Florence in 1583, he distributes 1520 
plants into fifteen classes, his primary division being 
into trees and herbs, and the secondary ones accord- 
ing to the position of the embryo, and the nature of 
the fruit and seeds. In 1561 Valerius Cordus pub- 
lished Gesner's " Historia de Plantis," at Strassburg. 
Matthias de l'Obel, born at Lille in 1538, died at 
Highgate in 1616. In 1570, in conjunction with Peter 
Pena, he published in London his "Stirpium Adver- 
saria Nova," and in 1576, at Antwerp, his " Observa- 
tions. " His works were largely followed by John 
Gerard. (born 1545), who, in 1596 and 1599, published 
catalogues of the plants growing in his garden, and 
in 1597 his "Herball." Gerard seems largely indebted 
to Dodoens, and seems to have little original merit. 
The " Herball" contains about 2000 plants. In 1601 
appeared the " Rariorum Plantarum Historia," the 
chief work of Charles de l'Escluse, commonly known 
as Clusius (born 1526, died 1609). It was printed at 
Antwerp, "par le celebre Plantin, le genereux Mecene 
des botanistes." In 1606 and 1616 was published at 
Rome the "Ecphrasis " ofColumna, who alone seems 
to have appreciated the views of Caesalpinus ; for 
both Caspar Bauhin, in his " Pinax," in 1623, and his 
elder brother John, in his ' ' Historia Plantarum Uni- 
versalis," which describes 5000 species, follow Lobel. 
Pulteney describes the latter work, published in 1650, 
as "a repository of all that was valuable in the 
ancients, in his immediate predecessors, and in the 
discoveries of his own time, relating to the history of 
vegetables, executed with that accuracy and critical 
judgment which can only be exhibited by superior 
talents." In 1623 Thomas Johnson (died 1644) pub- 
lished his "amended " edition of Gerard's "Herball," 
which is virtually a new work by an author far more 
critical than that of the original. A botanist of per- 
haps still higher calibre was John Parkinson, apo- 
thecary of London, and the King's herbarist, born 

in 1567, who, in 1629, published a horticultural work, 
"Paradisi in sole Paradisus Terrestris," and in 1640 
his " Theatrum Botanicum." The "Phytologia Bota- 
nica " of Dr. William How, published in 1650, " The 
First attempt at a Flora in England," and the 
"Pinax" of Dr. Christopher Merrett, published in 
1666, are surpassed longo intcrvallo by the " Cata- 
logus Plantarum Anglire " of John Ray, which 
appeared in 1670. 

Whilst the Catalogus opened a new period in 
British botany, a series of great works marked a 
fresh era in general botanical classification. These 
were the " Historia Plantarum Universalis " of Robert 
Morison, published in 1678, Ray's "Methodus Plan- 
tarum" in 1682, Rivinus's " Introductio Generalis in 
Rem Herbariam," in 1690, and Toumefort's " Ele- 
mens de Botanique," in 1694. Robert Morison, a 
native of Aberdeen, Regius Professor at Oxford, in 
his history, and in a previous work on the Umbel- 
lifera;, followed Caesalpinus in looking to the fruit for 
his main characters ; but so far as influence is con- 
cerned, Ray is the founder of a natural system of 
classification in England. He acknowledged his 
obligations to Jungius of Hamburg. His primary 
division was into Flowerless and Flowering Plants. 
The latter he separated into Dicotyledons and Mono- 
cotyledons, and he recognised the natural groups 
Fungi, Musci, Filices, Compositae, Umbelliferae, 
Labiatae, Boraginece, and Cruciferee. In his "His- 
toria Plantarum," completed in 1704, he describes 
6000 plants, and in the second edition of the Me- 
thodus (1703), he classifies about 18,000, then known. 
His " Synopsis Methodica Stirpium Britannicarum," 
published first in 1690, was " the first systematic Flora 
of Great Britain." Of him A. L. de Jussieu wrote in 
1 7 19, " Non a floribus tantum fructibusve, sed etiam 
a foliorum, caulium, radicumque tantum partium 
organicarum figura earumque colore, odore, sapore, 
et totius plantae facie exteriori sumenda esse genuinae 
methodi principia affirmabat." 

Rivinus first insisted on the classificatory importance 
of the flower, especially eulogising Caesalpinus and 
Ray. Tournefort first defined genera as now accepted ; 
but in his classification he kept Theophrastus's old 
division into trees and herbs, basing his subdivisions 
entirely on the corolla. He distinguished the Com- 
positae, Scrophulariaceae, Labiatae, Rosaceee, Cruci- 
feree, Umbelliferae, Caryophyllaceae, Liliaceae, Amen- 
tiferae, Ferns, and Fungi ; but the primary division 
renders his system far inferior to that of Ray. It, 
however, prevailed on the continent till the time of 
Linnaeus, as did Ray's in Britain. Tournefort de- 
scribed 698 genera, including 10, 146 species. Among 
British botanists of this period it will suffice to name 
Plukenet, Bobart, Buddie, Petiver, Sloane, Dillenius, 
and Blackstone. The "Specimen Botanicum" of 
the latter, Pulteney says, "I consider as the last 
book published in England on the indigenous botany 
before the system of Linnaeus had gained the ascen- 



dancy over that of Mr. Ray." It was published in 

Carl von Linne, born in 1707, died in 1778. The 
first sketch of his artificial sexual system appeared in 
his " Systema Naturae," published at Leyden in 1735, 
and it was further carried out in the "Genera Plan- 
tarum" (1737) and the " Species Plantarum " (1753), 
in which no less than 7294 species are defined. Lin- 
naeus's great services to botany were the establishment 
of the binomial system of nomenclature and of ver- 
bally-accurate and terse definitions. He required 
every species to be definable in twelve words. He 
adopted Ray's division of the vegetable kingdom into 
flowering and flowerless, coining the names Phane- 
rogamia and Cryptogamia, and then divided phane- 
rogams into twenty-three classes by the number and 
character of the stamens. These were mainly sub- 
divided into Orders, according to the number of 
carpels. Linnaeus himself only regarded this as a 
tentative system for practical purposes. " Methodi 
naturalis fragmenta," he writes, " studiose inquirenda 
sunt. Primum et ultimum hoc in botanicis deside- 
ratum est. Natura non facit saltus. Plantae omnes 
utrinque affinitatem monstrant, uti territorium in 
mappa geographica . . . Diu et ego circa methodum 
naturalem inveniendam laboravi . . . perficere non 
potui." I cannot refrain from quoting the following 
advice to the tyro from his " Philosophia Botanica" 
(1751), in which work he lays down the sensible rules, 
"Descriptio ordinem nascendi sequatur," and " De- 
scriptio compendiosissime, tamen perfecte, terminis 
tantum artis, si sufficientes sint, partes depingat." 
" Tyro ignotas sibi plantarum species investiget ipse, 
secundum classes, characteres, differentiasque syste- 

" Principia et Fundamentum Botanices rite intel- 

"Historiam literariam Botanices sibi familiarem 
reddat et imprimis auctores de speciebus plantarum 
consulendos. Synonyma auctorum, retrogrediendo 
ad inventores, evolvere adsuescat." 

The "Flora Britannica " of Dr. (commonly called 
Sir) John Hill was the first work arranged on the 
new system in England ; but, as Sir J. E. Smith said, 
it was the "Flora Anglica" of William Hudson, 
first published in 1762, that "marks the establish- 
ment of Linnaean principles of botany in England." 
A second edition appeared in 1778, the year of 
Linnaeus's death. Sir James Edward Smith, who 
purchased Linnaeus's herbarium and library, and 
was the main founder and first president of the 
Linnean Society, established in 1788, strongly, in 
fact, too strongly, supported the Linnaean system, 
adopting it in his " Flora Britannica " (1800-4) and 
in his "English Flora" (1824-8). In 1776 appeared 
the first edition of that very influential work, the 
"Botanical Arrangement" of William Withering; 
land it is most important for the student to note that 
Linnaeus, Hudson, Withering, and Smith very fre- 

quently meant very different plants when using one 
name. In 1777 William Curtis commenced the 
"Flora Londinensis," which he continued till 1798, 
the year before his death, and in 1787 he began 
the " Botanical Magazine." Sir James Smith in 1790 
commenced the issue of "English Botany," illus- 
trated by James Sowerby, and in 1807 Professor 
Thomas Martyn, in the ninth edition of "Miller's 
Gardener's and Botanist's Dictionary," may be said 
to have summarised the botany of his time with 
considerable attention to early authors. 

We next come to the last of our four periods, that 
of the rise of the natural system — a period in which 
the growth of our knowledge of plants may be par- 
tially estimated from the facts that in 1819 Augustin 
De Candolle estimated the known species of phane- 
rogams at 30,000, in 1839 Loudon enumerated 31,731 ; 
in 1846 Lindley gave 80,387, and in 1853, 92,920. 

It is Bernard de Jussieu to whom belongs the glory 
of working out the true natural system, which he 
embodied in his arrangement of the Trianon Gar- 
den (1759). In 1773 his nephew, Antoine-Laurent 
de Jussieu, having studied his uncle's grouping, com- 
municated a paper to the Academic des Sciences on 
the Ranunculacere, in which he showed the great 
truth of the relative value of characters, that they 
must be weighed, not counted. He extended his 
views to other Orders in the following year, and in 
17S9 published his "Genera Plantarum secundum 
Ordines Naturales disposita," which, according to 
Sir Joseph Hooker, "with slight modifications, has 
ever since retained its position as the basis of a com- 
plete scientific classification." 

Robert Brown (born 1773, died 1858), "facile 
princeps botanicorum," as Humboldt termed him, 
was the first in this country to advocate the natural 
system. This he did in his " Prodromus Florae Novce 
Hollandiae," published in 1810. In 1818 Augustin 
De Candolle commenced his "magnum opus," 
"Prodromus Systematis Naturalis Vegetabilium," 
which has been, with the assistance of many botanists, 
completed, in seventeen volumes, by his son Alphonse 
in 1873, an< l contains descriptions of every known 
species of Dicotyledon. 

In 1 82 1 was published the first British Flora on 
the new system, Samuel Gray's "Natural Arrange- 
ment of British Plants," and in 1829 Dr. Lindley 
produced his "Synopsis of the British Flora." In 
1830 Sir William Jackson Hooker, who had con- 
tinued the "Flora Londinensis" from 1821 to 1828, 
published the first edition of his "British Flora," 
and in 1843 Professor Babington issued the first 
edition of his "Manual of British Botany." Then 
commenced those great series of works which immor- 
talise the names of Loudon and Hewett Watson. 
Loudon may be termed the Martyn of the period, 
and his works, especially the "Encyclopaedia of 
Plants" (1855) are a wonderful summary marking 
the progress of half a century. Mr. Watson, in Ids 



"Cybele Britannica" (1847-1859), not only did for 
British plants what Alphonse De Candolle has done 
for those of the world in his " Geographie Botanique" 
(1855), but anticipated many of the principles of that 
work. Leaving unmentioned much important matter 
in the pages of periodicals such as the " Phytolo- 
gist," the "Journal of Botany," the "Gardener's 
Chronicle," and Science-Gossip, I will conclude this 
list of authorities with the name of a great work still 
in progress, the "Genera Plantarum " of Mr. Bent- 
ham and Sir Joseph Hooker. 

There are, of course, many other important works 
published abroad, besides special papers, &c, of 
English authorship ; I shall even refer to others in 
my research into the history of Thalictrum ; but these 
are, I think, those most generally important in the 

history of British Botany. 

G. S. Boulger. 


By Alexander M. McAldowie, M.B., CM. 

ALTHOUGH limited to a few spots in man and 
a few of the higher vertebrata, and altogether 
absent in some of the lowest forms of animal life, 
pigment is of almost universal occurrence in the 
zoological kingdom. We gaze with wonder at the 
dazzling splendour of the tropical birds and butterflies 
which adorn our museums, and we admire even more 
the softer beauty of the fauna of more temperate 
regions, yet all this variety of tint is due to the 
deposition in various parts of the body of colouring 
matter, the nature and uses of which are as yet in 
many instances but imperfectly understood. 

In some cases the use of pigment is to protect the 
deeper tissues from the bright glare of the sun by 
absorbing the rays of light. This is its function in 
the eye, where it prevents the rays from being re- 
flected back on to the retina and interfering with 
vision. In most animals, however, pigment is present 
for the purpose of enabling them to conceal them- 
selves from their enemies or their prey ; the colour of 
the animal, as a rule, bearing more or less resemblance 
to that of the soil, herbage, or foliage in which it 
lives. This is very strikingly seen in the "leaf" 
insects, where the likeness is so close as to merit the 
appellation of "protective mimicry." It may also be 
observed in the eggs and young of birds which nidifi- 
cate on the ground. 

Some animals possess the power of changing their 
colour in a certain degree and assuming that of the 
surrounding , medium. We have only to recall the 
story of the chameleon in illustration of this. It 
occurs in several reptiles, batrachians, and fishes.* 

* See an interesting note on the Angler Fish in Science- 
Gossip for July. 

Many species of cuttle-fish can change their colours 
rapidly under irritation or excitement. In birds and 
mammalia, however, change of colour takes place 
much more slowly, and is produced by shedding the 
feathers or hair. This takes place at certain seasons ; 
during the breeding season more especially, also in 
the winter. The former is seen in the ruff and many 
other birds, the latter in the ptarmigan, ermine, hare, 
and others. The minnow, stickle-back, and several 
other fishes exhibit bright iridescent tints during the 
spring time. 

While noticing the uses of colouring matter in the 

Fig- 33. — Pigment-cells from the Tadpole. 

Fig. 34. — Pigment-cells still 
cohering, from the choroid ; 
mag. 370 diameters (after 
Heule) ; a, nucleus. 

Fig- 35- — Ramified pigment- 
cells, from the tissue of the 
choroid ; mag. 350 diameter 
(after Kolliker). 

animal kingdom, it is interesting to observe the 
difference between animals and plants in this respect. 
The colours of flowers are now understood to have 
reference only to the visits of insects.* 

Pigment exists in the form of minute granules 
deposited in the connective tissue corpuscles or the 
epidermic or epithelial cells. The pigment-cells of 
connective tissue are usually of a stellate or ramified 
form (fig. 35), containing numerous processes. The 
nucleus of the cell remains colourless, and, as a rule, 
the ends of the processes contain no pigment. Briike 
and Buchholtz have observed movements in the stel- 
late pigment-cells of batrachians and fishes. The 

" Flowers," by Dr. Taylor, p. 14. 



pigment granules were seen sometimes congregated 
in a spheroidal mass round the nucleus, at other times 
diffused in a radiating manner through the cell or 
into the processes. The movements were accompanied 
with shortening and elongation of the ramifications. 

The changes of colour observed in the animals no- 
ticed previously are caused by alterations in the form 
of the pigment-cells, and are produced either sponta- 
neously, or by variations in the intensity of light, or 
by other external stimuli. R. Wagner has observed 
extraordinary mobility in the pigment-cells of cuttle- 
fishes, which contain pigment granules of different 
colours and are termed " chromatophores." Von 
Wittich * has described the changes produced in the 
cells of Hyla arborca by electrical excitation, although 
Professor Rollett was unable to perceive any influence 
exerted on the pigment-cells of batrachians by the 
action of induction shocks of electricity. 

Fig. 36. — Cortical section of horsehair, showing the linear 
arrangement of pigment, i-inch. 

The pigment granules vary in colour and shape. 
Under the highest powers they exhibit no definite 
form, being often subcylindrical, or elongated with 
rounded extremities. Beale says : " They may be re- 
moved from the cell, and when they escape into the 
surrounding fluid they exhibit molecular movements." t 
In vertebrate animals the pigment is derived from the 
red blood corpuscles. These, as they grow old, part 
with their colouring matter to the serum. From 
thence it is taken up by the pigment-cells and con- 
densed in their interior, where it undergoes several 
chemical changes and passes through several shades 
of colour. Rindfleisch states : " Should they (the 
pigment granules) be numerous enough to fill the 
protoplasm of a cell, the colourless nucleus is partly 
pushed aside, partly surrounded ; the pigmented cell 
appearing to be perforated by a circular gap or 
hole. Flat cells (choroid coat of the eye), in which 
the nucleus is in contact with both surfaces at 

* Miiller's _" Archiv," 1854, p. 41. 

f "The Microscope in Medicine," p. 154. 

once, retain their characteristic aspect (fig. 34). In 
spheroidal cells, however, the nucleus ultimately 
disappears, leaving a coloured corpuscle, in which 
only the external form of the cell can still be recog- 
nised." * 

The source of the pigment in the invertebrata is 
not definitely known. 

Pigment is also found in animals deposited in the 
hair, feathers, and other tegumentary appendages. 
In these situations it is not enclosed in cells. The 
pigment granules in the hair are located in the cortical 

Fig. 37. — Portion of 
broken scale from 
Argynnis Adififie, 
i inch. 

Fig. 38. — Black scale from I'nnessa 
urtiaz, i inch. 

tissue, disposed in lines running parallel to the axis 
of the hair (fig. 36). They are exceedingly minute, 
estimated in the human hair at j5$ m inch in dia- 
meter. It is here that we must look for an analogy 
with that occurring in Lepidoptera. The scales of 
Lepidoptera are homologous to hair or feathers in their 
situation and appearance, and also analogous in their 
function. We find likewise a similarity between the 
arrangement of pigment in the scales and that in hair. 
The pigment is deposited between the fine membranous 
layers which compose the scales, and is arranged in 
parallel lines corresponding to the situation of the 
ribs or striae. Under the microscope these appear as 
straight dark lines with irregular edges (fig. 37). As 

* "Pathological Histology," vol. i. p. 62. 



a rule the pigment is most thickly deposited in the 
upper third of the scale. It is sometimes altogether 
absent from the lower third. But it is occasionally 
pretty equally distributed over the whole scale, and 
down into the foot-stalk, 

In a broken scale of the Argynnis Adippc the dark 
lines of pigment at the seat of the fracture appeared 
broken up into small irregular particles (fig. 37). 
These had no definite form, but were mostly angular 
in outline. It is not probable that these were the 
ultimate molecules of pigment. 

In examining the scales from the wings of Lepido- 
ptera which had been decolorised by chlorine, the 
lines appeared to be unchanged in their outline 
although they were not nearly so dark as before. To 
the naked eye the wings themselves had a translucent 
membranous appearance. 

Many of the bright and lustrous tints seen in Lepi- 
doptera are not due to pigment, but are produced by 
the surface and edges of the scales, which have the 
power of absorbing some of the prismatic colours and 
reflecting others. 


A Live-box. — I send you a drawing of a live-box, 
which might be of interest to your readers. A, A are 
glass slips ; B, B are brass bands ; c, c are wedges ; 

Fig. 39. — Improvised live-box. 

Fig. 40. — Thick indiarubber ring for live-box. 

D is an india-rubber ring. The advantage gained by 
using this form of live-box is that it is thoroughly 
water-tight, and that it can be taken to pieces, 
cleaned, and put together in a very short space of' 
time. — Albert Smith. 

Newcastle Microscopical Society. — A general 
meeting of the North of England Microscopical Society 
was lately held. The following officers are appointed 
for the ensuing year : — President, Professor G. S. 
Brady, Mr. M. H. Robson, and a committee of ten. 
The inaugural meeting was held on Wednesday, 
January 8. This society has been formed to meet 

a long existing want amongst microscopists, who 
will now have an opportunity of meeting at regular 
intervals with excellent accommodation, and under 
the direction of an organised society, which since the 
dissolution of the Newcastle-upon-Tyne Microscopical 
Society in 1864 they have not possessed. 

The Pygidium of Insects. 1 — At a recent meeting 
of the Royal Microscopical Society, Mr. Henry Davis 
read a paper on this subject, in which he showed 
that the organ which went by this name had its re- 
presentative in the Neuroptera, and other groups of 
insects, as well as in the flea, and the lacewing fly. 
He regarded the pygidium as a special organ of sensa- 
tion for conveying to the insect an intimation of the 
presence of dangerous enemies. 


Birds Migrating. — In compliance with your 
correspondent's wish, I write to tell you that I have 
noticed here (Oporto), during August, a migration 
similar to that mentioned in Science-Gossip of 
October I. The night of August 26 was dark and 
hazy, the wind light and from the south or south-west. 
I heard more particularly from eight to nine o'clock 
P.M. fluty querulous notes from birds flying over my 
house from north to south, and not very swiftly. 
There appeared to be only one species, and the notes 
were in sets of four — tchoo-hoo- 
hoo-hoo. It was impossible to see 
the birds, although I tried repeat- 
edly when some must have passed 
close over the house, which is on 
a hill to the north side of the 
mouth of the Douro, and about 
eight minutes' walk from the sea. 
They seemed to pass in small flocks, keeping up a 
constant calling and answering. The notes were 
heard chiefly from eight to nine, but continued less 
frequently till late on in the night. I believe that 
hundreds, if not thousands, must have passed during 
that night. They had been heard some nights pre- 
viously also. It would be interesting to learn the 
species to which these migrants belonged. That 
they were some species of large sandpiper I feel 
pretty certain, and I suspect they were red-shanks. 
Can any of your correspondents suggest how this 
could be ascertained with certainty ? I noticed some 
days previously numbers of red-shanks, ringed dotterel, 
whimbrel, turnstones, and some smaller sandpipers 
on the banks of the Douro. Most of these were 
late arrivals from the north. Some possibly may 
have passed Maidstone ! I suppose it would be 
difficult to devise some way of catching them while 
flying over at night? Could the phonograph be 
available for comparing the notes of birds ? This is 
an interesting locality for observing the migration of 



birds, such as the turtle dove, wood pigeon, hoopoe, 
flycatcher, pipits, skylark, starling, red-wing, lap- 
wing, golden plover, &c. We have arrivals of birds 
from the north to spend the winter here before all 
our summer visitants leave for the south. — Win. C. 
Tail, Foz do Douro, Oporto. 

House-flies and their Parasites. — There can 
I think be little doubt that the parasite described by 
the Rev. W. Marsden Beeby was the young nymph 
of one of the Gamasinre, which species or genus it 
would not be possible to say from the description, 
nor indeed are the genera and species of this family 
well settled. With regard to the question of whether 
the creatures are parasitic, or rather to what extent 
they are so, this is still a subject on which opinions 
differ ; the older writers considered that many species 
were parasitic in all stages, but the researches of 
modern French acarologists make it probable that 
they are only parasitic in the larval stage, and in the 
active asexual stage which is called the nymph. M. 
Megnin, whose opinion deserves the highest possible 
consideration on such a subject, considers that the 
parasite is not in any way injurious to the fly, and 
only uses the fly, or other insect or creature, as a 
means of conveyance. I confess, however, that my 
own observations of the positions in which the nymphs 
of gamasids are found upon dipterous and hymeno- 
pterous insects would rather have led me to the 
conclusion that, at all events in some species, the 
gamasid seeks nourishment from the juices of the 
insect. The instruments resembling the large claws 
of a lobster would be the chelate mandibles of the 
Gamasus. These resemble the large claws (or chelae) 
of the lobster and craw-fish, inasmuch as they are 
chelate, i. e. nipper-like, the fixed side of the nipper 
being formed by a toothed prolongation of the penul- 
timate joint of the chelate limb or organ, and the 
movable side by the ultimate joint, which is drawn by 
powerful muscles against the prolongation of the 
penultimate. These mandibles, however, are not, like 
the lobster's claw, hard throughout their whole length ; 
the two final joints only are hard, the posterior ones 
being elastic and extensible at will, so that the man- 
dibles can be greatly protruded or wholly withdrawn 
within the body of the gamasid, nor can they probably 
be considered to be the true homologues of the 
lobster's claws, as these appear to be the appendages 
of the ninth cephalo-thoracic somite, and to constitute 
the anterior and prehensile pair of the ambulatory 
legs, whereas in the gamasid they are true mandibles. 
I confess that Mr. Beeby's description of the teeth 
made me somewhat hesitate as to whether the parasite 
was really a gamasid, as I am not aware of any mouth 
organs in Gamasinae which can properly be called 
teeth. The mouth consists of the labium and maxilla;, 
which together form a suctorial sharp-pointed tube, 
of the mandibles above mentioned, a labium or lingua, 
and of a pair of maxillary palpi. At the base of 

these, however, is an organ somewhat corresponding 
to the galea in Orthoptera, and this may possibly bear 
spines in some species. Finally, I may say that the 
acarid would not have remained long on the fly's 
foot ; if left alone he would soon have mounted into 
some more convenient position on the body. If it 
were not for size, Mr. Beeby's description would 
answer equally well for a chelifer (say, such an one as 
Hermann's C. parasita, "Memoire apterologique," 
p. 117); indeed the pedipalpi of the chelifer are even 
more like lobsters' claws than the mandibles of the 
gamasid, but I presume that one of these well-known 
creatures would have been at once recognised. It is 
of course extremely easy to distinguish between the 
two, as the abdomen of the chelifer is segmented, 
while that of the gamasid is not. — Albert D. Michael. 

"A Rare Species of Hemiptera." — Would it 
be possible to obtain from " John Davis " (the writer 
of the article headed " A Rare Species of Hemiptera," 
p. 9) an example of the creature which he describes ? 
This I admit has fairly puzzled me. His calling it 
both a hemipterous insect and afterwards a " beetle " 
or a coleopterous insect is decidedly peculiar. — C. 0. 

Birds and Fruit. — On December 23, whilst 
taking a country walk, I was surprised to see a haw- 
thorn tree which grew up out of the hedge, laden 
with the following birds : — fieldfare, missel-thrush, 
song-thrush, blackbird, and green linnet. The 
bush had been evidently richly laden with scarlet 
haws, and the ground was covered with those which 
had been shaken off whilst the half-starving birds 
were feeding. I concealed myself and watched the 
birds I had disturbed return to their banquet. There 
could hardly have been less than a hundred indivi- 
duals, and the voracity with which they devoured the 
tempting berries was both amusing and gratifying. 
The remarks of Dr. Taylor, in that chapter of his 
recently published "Flowers; their Shapes, Per- 
fumes, and Colours," relating to " Birds and Flowers," 
that the red or other colours of fruits are for the sake 
of attracting birds, just as the colours of petals are to 
attract insects, came to my mind with great force. 
In this way one could see how useful both the colour 
and the succulent pericarp must be to seeds protected 
by "stone" and pericarps in distributing the seeds 
far and wide in the droppings of the birds. During 
my walk I afterwards saw the blackbirds and thrushes 
devouring the scarlet berries of the holly in a similar 
way. — T. G. Hudson, Wolverhampton. 

The Weather and the Birds.— The incoming 
of severe wintry weather at the beginning of De- 
cember had been foreshadowed to the ornithologist 
by the large numbers of northern birds which visited 
our shores. Flocks of snow-buntings, as well as 
northern ducks (as the "long-tailed"), wax- wings, 
&c, visited the eastern coasts. The fieldfares have 



been unusually numerous, and no doubt the influx of 
birds will help our native species to give a good 
account of the larvae of insects. Wild duck, teal, 
widgeon, &c, were abundant in Norfolk and Suffolk, 
and were caught in immense numbers at the decoys. 
Scottish eagles found the Highlands too severe and 
drifted southerly to England, a golden eagle being 
shot at Fritton, near Lowestoft, where it and an 
uunsht companion had been attracted by the hosts of 
wild fowl, &c. The poor paltry poppers at small 
birds from behind hedges have had capital "sport" 
this severe winter ! 

Errata. — In my note at page 14 of Science- 
Gossip for Ziphius curvirostris read Ziphius caviros- 
tris, and for Professor Fowler read Professor Flower. 
— T. Southwell. 

The Watford Natural History Society. — 
Part II. of the second volume of the " Transactions" 
of this vigorous society is to hand, containing the 
Anniversary Address of the President (Dr. A. T. 
Brett), and papers on "British Butterflies" by the 
Rev. C. M. Perkins; "Observations on Injurious 
Insects," and "Economic Entomology," by Eleanor 
O. Ormerod. 

The Moa not yet Extinct (?) — A miner writes 
to a New Zealand paper to say that whilst he and his 
mate were prospecting for gold last autumn, between 
lake Rotorua and the Cannibal Gorges, in the pro- 
vince of Nelson, he saw what he believed to be the 
moa. His description is as follows : — " We heard a 
strange screeching noise in a gully about a hundred 
yards from where we were camped, and went to 
where the noise proceeded from, and to our surprise 
we saw two gigantic birds coming towards us. They 
did not show the least alarm at seeing us, but con- 
tinued coming to where we were, so we took to our 
heels. We heard them two or three times that night 
again. Having no gun with us we thought it advis- 
able to start the next morning, for fear they would 
tackle us. One of them was apparently about twelve 
feet high, and the other somewhat smaller, with 
feathers resembling the kiwi's." 


The Sea Lettuce {Ulva latissima), — At a recent 
meeting of the San Francisco Microscopical Society, 
a paper on the "Fruiting of Sea Lettuce," was read 
by C. L. Anderson, M.D., who said : — " A few days 
ago I collected a quantity of Ulva latissima for my 
marine aquarium. The fronds were well grown 
(October 26), of a beautiful deep green colour. The 
plant was put into the water at night. Next morning, 
quite early, the water had a turbid look, and I feared 
there was too much dead matter ever to become clear. 
But as the sun came to shine on the side of the 
aquarium, I noticed a band of green matter bordering 

the side in the sunshine, and adhering, apparently, to 
the glass at the upper surface of the water, and the 
aquarium was clear. When the green band was 
touched there seemed to be a dispersion of the mate- 
rial, but readily coming together again. Like a cloud 
of very minute insects they were constantly changing 
the form of the mass, and, amceba-like, throwing out 
processes here and there, the greater part, however, 
clinging to the glass. Putting a small quantity under 
the microscope I found two kinds, or forms. One 
was quite round, and moved slowly, with an irregular 
rolling motion. I could not detect cilia, although the 
motion would indicate their presence. The other 
form was smaller, conical, and very active, moving so 
rapidly that at first I could not make out its form. A 
careful inspection revealed the fact that they were the 
zoospores of the ulva. The conical form had fila- 
ments at the apex. Carpenter says ' ciliated.' I 
would rather consider them as accessory to cilia, and 
intended as holdfasts that the plant may grow. Both 
Dr. Carpenter and Dr. Wythe present illustrations of 
these zoospores, showing their development from the 
frond cells of the ulva, and Carpenter remarks that 
' they might easily be taken for true infusoria.' And 
so they might. On further examination I found some 
of these zoospores clinging to the broken walls of the 
cells, both forms, and exhibiting active exertions to 
be free. As to the generative process, of which Car- 
penter says, ' nothing whatever is known,' I am of the 
opinion that the filament spores are fertilised after 
their escape from the cell by the round spores, and 
that the latter, having performed their function, like 
the antherozoa, disappear, and the filament spores 
become fixed and grow by the multiplication of cells 
peculiar to other algae. The next morning these zoo- 
spores had diffused themselves into the water, and the 
turbidity remains as it was the first morning before 
the ' swarming.' It is likely that nearly all these 
germs have perished in the water for want of a 
congenial place to become attached that they might 

" Monstrosities " in Plants. — In the middle of 
last summer I had many plants of Canterbury bells 
in my garden which had grown from seed that had 
been sown in 1876, only two plants of the lot having 
flowered in the year after they were sown, as biennials 
are supposed to do, and ripening their seeds before 
they died. The remainder became larger plants, and 
were all in the following summer now past covered 
with blossom. Some of the flowers were white, some 
blue. Among the plants with white flowers was 
nothing that I noticed as abnormal. Among those 
with blue flowers two plants presented variations 
worthy of notice. One of them was crowned with 
a terminal head of synanthic flowers, as nearly as can 
be like the figure of such a production in Dr. Masters's 
"Vegetable Teratology." The corollas of several 
flowers were fused into an oblong dish, to one end of 



which adhered a somewhat similar formation proceed- 
ing from the fusion of two or more flowers, forming a 
cup or vase not quite so long or shallow. These two 
structures adhered to each other by the outer surfaces 
of their compound corollas, and seemed as if they 
were made up together of about five or seven flowers. 
This curious phenomenon proceeded apparently from 
fasciation : not from fusion of lateral flowers, for the 
fused flowers were all equally terminal. In the Can- 
terbury bell, as in other species of Campanula, the 
sub-terminal flower does not expand till after those 
on the lower branches, and therefore is considerably 
later than the flower which terminates the stem. By 
keeping in view this rule, the synanthic termination 
of a fasciated stem may be easily distinguished from 
any possible fusion of lateral flowers. No other in- 
stance of synanthy was observed on the plant where 
this occurred, though it had a profusion of well- 
formed single flowers. Another plant which flowered 
at the same time bore flowers each of which had a 
double corolla. Nothing in the flower was mis- 
shapen. The inner corolla was bell-shaped like the 
outer, and its segments alternated with those of that 
within which it was. The stamens too alternated 
with the segments of the inner corolla, a fact which I 
noticed in several flowers and think of some import- 
ance, as it would place them in a different position 
with reference to the sepals than is the case with 
stamens of a flower whose corolla is single. All 
these plants have since died. When withered flowers 
were removed, or the plants were not exhausted by 
ripening seeds, other flower buds grew and were ex- 
panded, but no leaf bud was developed that might 
form the basis of a new growth. No foliar prolifica- 
tion was to be found in any of the plants whose lives 
were strictly limited, so that it seems as if they can- 
not by any means become perennial. — John Gibbs. 

Teratological Notes. — I see in the September 
number of Science-Gossip a short account of the 

Fig. 41. — "Monstrous" Calceolaria; A, ordinary corolla; 
B, elongated hollow corolla, terminating in a small open- 
ing at c. Reduced J. 

malformation of a common cabbage leaf. My slight 
experience of a similar phenomenon may be of inter- 
est. Some two or three years ago I came across a 
similar instance to that mentioned by your corre- 

spondent. In my case several of these curious leaves 
were produced on the same plant within a short 
period of time, all more or less resembling one 
another. I have been informed by a friend that he 
has observed the same appearance in a geranium 
leaf. I have enclosed a rough sketch of curious form 
in the flower of a calceolaria. Two of these have been 
produced at about the same time on different plants 
in the same garden. I may mention the plant under 
consideration was not the common yellow variety, but 
a rich red-coloured species known to gardeners by 
the name "Prince of Orange." — A. H. Hintor. 

Teratology of Clover. — I have found a head 
of Alsike clover, in which all the pistils are trans- 
formed into foliage leaves, similar, but on a smaller 
scale, to a single lobe of the regular leaves. — B. K. 

Exceptional Fruitfulness of Mosses this 
Season. — Is it the general experience of muscolo- 
gists that the present season is an exceptional one 
with regard to the fruitfulness of mosses ? In this 
district several kinds not generally in fruit are found 
with fruit, such as Hypnum puriim, squarrosum, 
taniariscinum, triquetrum, loreum, &c. In an excur- 
sion of a few hours lately my brother and I found 
nearly sixty different species, more than one-half of 
which were in fruit. — R. Wood, Rosley Vicarage, 

New Species of Isoetes. — Dr. Moore has re- 
cently given an account of a new species of Isoetes 
found in Upper Lake, Bray, county Wicklow, Ire- 
land, which has been named I. Moorei. It strongly 
resembles /. lacuslris. 

White Varieties. — I found two perfectly white 
plants of Geranium pitsilluni by a roadside in South 
Devon last autumn. In Science-Gossip for 1875, 
page 68, there is an account of a white variety of 
G. molle: as both nearly resemble each other, one of 
us may be mistaken. They are not mentioned in any 
botanical work I have seen. — R. W. IV. 

Ranunculus Ficaria. — Whilst taking a morning 
walk, at the beginning of last year, I was surprised to 
find what a difference occurred with regard to the 
number of petals in the lesser celandine {Ranunculus 
Ficaria). The smallest number I counted was six, 
and the largest on one flower was sixteen, just double 
the usual number. Frobably in the latter case, some 
of the stamens had been converted into petals, but at 
that time I did not think of observing whether this 
was the case or not. — J. A. Weldon, Northallerton. 

A New Species of British Moss. — At a recent 
meeting of the Linnean Society Mr. E. Holmes 
showed examples of a species of Moss, Aulacomnion 
turgiduni, new to our British cryptogamic flora. 
This acquisition had been obtained by Mr. West, a 
Bradford botanist, in Yorkshire. Mr. Holmes made 
some remarks, and comparisons between this species 
and A. palustre. 




Burrow, the Geologist. — In your December 
number a slight reference is made to Mr. John 
Burrow, the " Settle Palaeontologist "—where he is 
mentioned as "having spent his life in working out 
the palaeontology of his district." Perhaps it may be 
worth noting that this was not strictly the case, and 
also that Mr. Burrow's work, in the fields of science, 
furnished us with a good instance of what may be 
done — as an interesting amusement — by our English 
youth. I first made the acquaintance of Mr. Burrow 
at Cambridge (where we kept in the same staircase), 
and afterwards had the privilege and pleasure of re- 
newing our friendship in his own much loved Craven 
district. I frequently accompanied him to his pet 
productive spots about Settle, which he had explored 
for a considerable distance, and from which, by 
patient energy, he had made a rich ingathering of 
fossils— and all this (the point mainly to be noted) 
while he was as patiently working his way to the 
height of the sixth form in the neighbouring school at 
Giggleswick. At Cambridge he won triple honours 
— in mathematics, classics, and natural science — 
still keeping to geology as a recreation, and proceed- 
ing with the work of fossil-arrangement. Hence I 
venture to say that the great work which he did 
among the carboniferous rocks for palaeontology, ivas 
the work of a schoolboy, and that, too, at a time when 
"natural science" was never mentioned in public 
school-life. Would that nowadays the interest of 
this kind of recreative health-giving science could 
compete in greater degree with the much-absorbing 
interests of athletics, cricket, and football, in our 
English schools. — Matthew Wood, Evesham. 

The Ultra-gaseous State of Matter. — One 
of the most important discoveries in molecular 
physics is undoubtedly that just communicated to the 
Royal Society by Dr. Crookes, in a paper entitled 
"The Illumination of Lines of Molecular Pressure, 
and the Trajectory of Molecules." It has been so 
long taken for granted that there could be only three 
conditions in which matter existed — the solid, liquid, 
and gaseous — that it comes upon us with downright 
surprise to hear of a fourth condition — the ultra- 
gaseous. But there can be little doubt that Dr. 
Crooke's experiments have proved this. The paper 
is reported at some length in "Nature" for De- 
cember 12, and we refer our readers to it for the 
details of the delicate experiments from which this 
important conclusion is arrived at. It would seem 
that the hypothetical "ether" of astronomers, which 
is supposed to fill space, is not so supposititious as 
some have argued. 

Marine Fossils in Gannister Beds. — Your 
correspondent, Jas. Nield, of Oldham, has, I am 
afraid, somewhat misapprehended the gist of my late 
discovery of the above in Northumberland. The 

occurrence of marine forms in the lower coal-measures 
of England (not to be confounded with the often mis- 
named "lower coal-measures" of Scotland, which 
are the equivalent of our carboniferous limestone 
series) has long been well-known to geologists, and 
the neighbourhood of Oldham is the classical ground 
for such finds. Up to the beginning of the year just 
expired, however, the gannister series north of the 
Tees had been determined and mapped by means of 
stratigraphical evidence only, none but plant remains 
similar to those characterising the overlying beds 
(middle and upper coal - measures) having been re- 
corded from these beds in the district. In February 
1878, 1 hit upon the first batch of marine fossils in the 
south of Northumberland. Since then I have found 
more elsewhere in the county, and I am informed that 
others have in the meantime been detected in carrying 
out mining operations in South Durham. The entire 
interest of the find lies in the palaeontological evidence 
of occasional marine conditions having persisted from 
upper carboniferous limestone or Yoredale beds into 
those of the coal-measures much further north than 
was believed by many (including myself) to be the 
case. Some important theoretical considerations with 
regard to the classification of the carboniferous rocks 
depend on such facts, and give them a greater interest 
than they might, at first sight, be supposed to possess. 
In the original notice of my find in " Nature" an un- 
fortunate misprint occurred — country for county — 
whence, notwithstanding inrmediate correction, the 
present misapprehension may have arisen. Some 
account of the beds and their fossils will be found in 
my recently issued ' ' Outlines of the Geology of North- 
umberland."— G. H. Lcbour. 

Pleistocene Deposits of the Cornish Coast, 
near Padstow. — This was the subject of a paper 
recently read before the Geological Society, by Mr. 
W. A. E. Ussher, F.G.S. The author described 
certain deposits seen in a small bay near St. Enodock's 
chapel, and known as Daymer Bay, and in section at 
Greenway cliffs. The former included a portion of 
raised beach, and a reef of consolidated old beach and 
a peaty deposit below high-water mark, the raised 
beach indicating a depression of from 5 to 10 feet and 
a subsequent elevation of more than that amount, 
during a pause in which the lower beach was formed. 
The further elevation of the coast was sufficient to 
favour the growth of forests furnishing the peaty bed, 
which a subsequent subsidence has brought down to 
its present level. Greenway cliffs consist of grey 
slates, resting against which, in two places, are old 
consolidated blown sands ; about 5 feet above high- 
water mark is a raised beach, near which the face of 
the cliff consists of "head " capped by gravel. Mr. 
Ussher discussed the relative ages of these deposits, 
and inclined to regard the gravel as a fluviatile deposit, 
and the stony loam or " head " as an ancient talus or 
flood-gravel, both deposited before the raised beach. 



Peculiar Fossil Brachiopod. — Mr. John Young, 
F.G.S., has discovered a new species of Rhynchopora 
in the upper series of the carboniferous limestones, at 
Bowertrapping, near Dairy, Ayrshire. This genus 
was established by Professor M. King, of the Queen's 
College, Galway, for a species of Rhynchonella, whose 
shell showed a distinct perforated structure, which he 
had found in some places on the Continent in the Per- 
mian formation. Before the discovery of a perforated 
structure in this species it was included in the genus 
Rhynchonella, but is now named Rhynchopora Gcinit- 
ziana. Mr. Young finding the carboniferous specimen 
to be distinctly perforated sent it for determination 
to Mr. Thomas Davidson, F.G.S., Brighton, author 
of the Monograph of the " British fossil Brachiopoda," 
and he being satisfied of its punctate structure, for- 
warded it to Professor King, who writes that it is 
undoubtedly a new and second species of his genus 
Rhynchopora, and that he considers the carboniferous 
species an interesting discovery, confirming all he had 
already written as to the structure of the Permian 
shell. It is proposed by Mr. Davidson, who will 
figure and describe Mr. Young's specimen, to name 
the species Rhynchopora Yonngii in honour of the 

Silurian Fossils in the Girvan District. — 
This is the subject of a monography by Professor 
A. Nicholson and Robert Etheridge, jun., published 
by W. Blackwood & Sons. The monograph is a de- 
tailed descriptive catalogue of the fossils of the 
Silurian area of Girvan in Ayrshire, a district which 
has long presented peculiar geological difficulties. 
The authors have been assisted in their arduous work 
by a Government grant made through the Royal 
Society, and also by Mrs. Robert Gray, whose cabinet 
of Girvan fossils is especially rich, and has been of 
great use to the authors. 

Fossil Entomology. — We specially direct the 
attention of our geological readers to the exhaustive 
and suggestive series of papers which are appearing 
in the " Entomologist's Monthly Magazine," on 
" Fossil Entomology," by Mr. Herbert Goss, F.L.S., 
F.G.S. The fourth paper appeared in the January 
number, on "The Insecta of the Carboniferous 
Period, and the Animals and Plants with which they 
were correlated." 


Piping Bullfinches.— With reference to a query 
under head of " Piping Bullfinch " inserted in 
Science-Gossip for January, I would remark that 
Gilbert White no less than three times in his 
" Natural History of Selborne " alludes to the fact of 
the plumage of bullfinches becoming dark or black- 
coloured from the administration of hemp-seed. In 
the latest edition of White's " Selborne," by Thomas 
Bell, Esq., the author in a footnote states that the 
effect of a diet of hemp-seed in blacking the plumage 
of birds, and particularly the bullfinch, is now well 
known. — John Cohbrook. 

The Doubleday Collection. — Having lately 
gone through the above collection, it is satisfactory to 
say the collection is less deteriorated than appeared to 
be at first sight. There is not one type in the whole 
collection lost. Some erroneous statements have 
crept into several periodicals, stating that 238 species 
have been destroyed by mites. This I deny in toto. 
The collection is open for inspection, and all those 
interested are invited. — James English. 

Leafless Trees. — Although at the present wintry 
season of the year but few flowers either in the garden 
or the woods are left to gladden the sight, there is 
still to the observant eye a never failing charm in the 
leafless trees. When seen against a clear grey sky, 
each one has a form and beauty all its own — 

" Alike yet various. 

Here the grey smooth trunks of ash, or elm, or beech, dis- 
tinctly shine 
Within the twilight of their distant shades." 

No tree in all the grove but has its charms, and 
each its hue peculiar at all seasons of the year ; 
and we may, if we are observant, learn to distin- 
guish the several kinds of trees as easily by their 
outlines in winter as by their leaves in summer. 
We have also been much interested in noticing the 
colour of the leafless trees surrounding our home 
when the sunshine has lighted them up ; they then 
appear as if tinged with a deep red colour. We have 
much pondered over this appearance of the trees in 
the sunlight. We have since seen it noticed in a little 
book on " Field Flowers," by Shirley Hibberd. He 
remarks that, " if you had to paint a winter scene 
with sunshine, you would have to wash all the trees 
with a tone of red." What is the reason of this ? We 
should be grateful if any of the readers of Science- 
Gossip would kindly explain the cause. Could it 
arise from the russet case, or envelope, in which the 
tender germ of the leaf is folded, uninjured, with 
inimitable art, till the bitter winds and cold frosts of 
winter have passed away ? May be, Keble refers to 
this appearance of the trees in the wintry sunshine 
when he writes in one of his most beautiful hymns : 

" Red o'er the forest peers the setting sun; 
The line of yellow light dies fast away 
That crowned the eastern copse ; and chill and dun 
Falls on the moor the brief November day." 

E. Ediuards. 

Parasites on Pigeons. — The best means for 
destroying the parasites on fantail and other pigeons, 
your correspondent " M. G." will find is to syringe 
well the house in which the pigeons live, themselves, 
and their nests with carbolic acid, diluted with water, 
at the same time using very freely Keating's Insect 
Powder. There is no danger of the parasites found 
upon pigeons, fowls, or other birds, forsaking them for 
man or womankind ; they will not live upon the human 
body. The most sensible reason why pigeons' feathers 
should not be used for stuffing pillows, &c, appears to 
be, because they are too stiff, they would tnat together, 
and so make but an uncomfortable rest for the head. 
For the same reason game and other small birds' 
feathers would not be desirable for stuffing pillows ; 
the old superstition why they should not be thus used, 
we believe to be entirely without reason. — E. Edwards, 

Interesting Plants in the Royal Gardens, 
Kew. — On the west side of the palm-house is a 
most remarkable plant, which has given rise to a great 
deal of writing upon the disputed phenomenon of 
parthenogenesis, viz. Ctzletiogyne ilicifolia, a native of 
Australia, and included in the natural order Euphor- 
biaceas. It is a small dioecious shrub with alternate 
spinose leaves closely resembling the common holly 



(hence its specific name) ; the small greenish flowers 
are unisexual, the staminate flowers being borne on 
toothed bracts in axillary spikes, and the pistillate in 
a similar manner or in cymes. The first plants that 
arrived here were sent by Allan Cunningham, in 1829, 
and were all females. After a time some of these 
flowered, and, without the application of pollen, 
ripened seed which germinated and produced plants 
resembling the parent form. A communication of 
these facts to the Linnean Society by Mr. Smith 
("Transactions of Society," vol. xviii.) drew consi- 
derable attention to the plant. Klotzsch examined 
the seed and stated that it contained a bud and not 
an embryo, but Braun, Radlkofer and others consi- 
dered it as a true embryonic formation. Henslow 
states that it is possibly an analogous phenomenon to 
what takes place in some aphides, where one im- 
pregnation is sufficient for several generations. If 
that be the case, the definite settlement of any doubt 
resting upon the subject is merely a question of time, 
as it is almost impossible for true fertilisation to take 
place, there not being a single male plant in Europe. 
On the same side as the above we notice Laportea 
stimulans, an urticaceous plant with large crenulate 
ovate leaves, having numerous stinging hairs on both 
surfaces. This plant was found by Leschenault in 
Java, and he states that its sting produces inflamma- 
tion and tetanic symptoms, similar to Laportea crenu- 
lata, but less severe. On the same authority we learn 
that the natives of Java rub buffaloes with the fresh 
leaves to excite them to fight with tigers. At the 
south end of the house is a magnificent specimen of 
Grias canliflora, the anchovy pear of Jamaica, a 
native of the West Indies, included in the Order 
Myrtaceae, tribe Barringtoniese. Its generic name is 
derived from grao— to eat, alluding to the fruit ; the 
specific name refers to the appearance of the flowers 
on the old wood. It is a slender, unbranched tree, 
having at the summit a crown of drooping lanceolate 
glossy green leaves, which are larger than those of any 
other dicotyledonous tree (3 feet long by l\ to 2 feet 
broad). The large white flowers spring in clusters 
from the stem, but they are rarely seen, and this plant 
has never flowered. The fruits are pickled and eaten 
like mangos, which they are said to resemble in 
flavour. We find on the shelf at the east side of the 
house a small plant of Hura crepitans, the sandbox- 
tree or Monkey's "Dinner Bell," considered as a 
native of tropical America, but now cultivated for 
shade through the tropics generally. It is a Euphor- 
biaceous tree of extremely quick growth ; the wood 
is so soft that a clap of thunder or gust of wind will 
break the largest boughs. The fruit is a woody cap- 
sule of many cocci, which in drying burst open down 
the back into two valves, at the same time separating 
from the axis with the noise of a pistol shot. The 
juice of the tree contains an extremely poisonous 
principle. Boussingault relates that when he and 
M. Rivero analysed some of the milky juice, they 
were both attacked with erysipelas. It forms a large 
branching tree, 30 to 40 feet high, bearing unisexual, 
inconspicuous, reddish flowers. The female flowers 
have a very remarkable trumpet-shaped style, with a 
reflexed, many-toothed, terminal portion. The seeds 
are occasionally administered as a purgative to ne- 
groes, but are extremely dangerous, for two seeds 
have produced death. — Lezuis Castle, West Kensington 

The Cultivation of Mistletoe. — Seeing in 
the June number of Science-Gossip a botanical note 
by Mr. J. M. Higgins about growing mistletoe in 
Devonshire, where it is seldom seen, I thought it 
might interest some of your readers to hear about 

attempts to grow it in Edinburgh, where it is never 
found in a state of nature. In the first week of 
February I planted about twenty seeds of mistletoe, 
in the same way as Mr. Higgins, on hawthorn, ser- 
vice, plane, poplar, pear and apple trees, and I may 
add that in no cases were they pecked at by birds. 
On April 24, when passing one of the apple-trees, 
I noticed that one of the seeds had begun to ger- 
minate, and on examining the others I found them 
beginning to smell and turn green ; and by May 1, 
other seven seeds had burst and had protruded small 
green suckers, which have since taken hold on the 
bark. By the beginning of June the rest of the seeds, 
with a few exceptions, had sprouted, those .on the 
apple and hawthorn trees being furthest on and 
healthiest looking. I have therefore great hopes of 
growing the parasite, and I may mention that several 
gentlemen in the neighbourhood have been very suc- 
cessful in its cultivation ; one plant in particular which 
I have seen several times in a garden near is remark- 
ably handsome and strong, being, I believe, about 
seven years old. There is one very good specimen of 
mistletoe in the Edinburgh Botanical Gardens, and I 
believe several smaller plants in Warriston Cemetery. 
Can any of your readers explain to me why four of 
my seeds have sent out two suckers apiece, while 
the rest of them have only sent out one each ? — 
Horace N. Bonar, Edinburgh. 

The Nightingale in Yorkshire. — Last May 
a man found a nest in a wood near Ripon. He 
thought it was a tree-pipit's nest, with curious 
coloured eggs in it. He took them to Mr. Pratt of 
Ripon, who told him they were nightingales' eggs and 
not tree-pipits. This is the first nest I have heard of 
being found in Yorkshire. — James Ingleby. 

Cuckoo's Visits. — Mr. Bennett asks if the cuckoo 
revisits the same place yearly. I believe it does. A 
neighbour told me last May he heard a cuckoo with 
a very peculiar note for the last four years near his 
house ; he was almost sure it was the same bird. In 
answer to the inquiry for a description of the cuckoo's 
eggs : They vary very much in colour, and very much 
resemble the birds' eggs of the nests they are placed 
in. Some are like meadow-pipits, others pied wag- 
tails, some lighter in colour and others darker, and 
small for the size of the bird. — James Ingleby. 

The Cuckoo and her Eggs. — " The Universe," 
by F. A. Pouchet (Blackie & Son, 1877), speaking of 
the cuckoo laying her eggs in the nests of other birds, 
has the following, page 198 : — " It is the nest of the 
golden crested, or common, wren that this bird selects 
for the accomplishment of its designs." Can any 
reader of Science-Gossip verify this statement from 
personal observation ? Has any one ever seen a young 
cuckoo in a wren's nest ? In matters of this nature 
statements not made from personal observation are of 
no value. After careful search and observation of 
many years, I havejnever myself found a cuckoo's egg 
or young except in the nest of a gronnd-bnilding bird, 
never, indeed, except in the nest of the meadow- 
pipit and the grey wagtail. The writer also "states 
that the cuckoo has "never more than two eggs." 
Has this been certainly ascertained, and how ? Have 
any considerable number of birds been examined 
before the eggs come to maturity, to justify this state- 
ment?—?. A. Kerr, Whiteabbey. 

Malformed Egg. — I have recently seen in this 
neighbourhood an egg from a Brahmapootra hen 
which contained within it another smaller egg. The 
inner egg was imbedded in the albumen of the outer 
one, and had pushed the yolk out of its normal 



central position. Both eggs were covered by shell. 
Can any one explain the nature of this malformation '.' 
— F. IV S., Todmordcn. 

Preserving Fossils.— Having a number of mam- 
malian remains from caves which seem liable to chip 
and decay after exposure to the air, I should be 
greatly obliged to any reader who would tell me the 
best treatment for their preservation. I have been 
advised to paint them over with hot solution of gela- 
tine, but this does not appear to improve those speci- 
mens on which I have tried it. I should also be glad 
to learn the best plan of preserving fossils from the 
coal and chalk ; some specimens from the lias are very 
liable to chip. — W. G. Tuxford. 

Pronunciation of Scientific Names.— The 
great difficulty is to find the place of the accent. There 
appears to be no certain rule for this ; most frequently 
it is on the penultimate syllable, in other cases its 
place is determined by the etymology, and again in a 
few instances both systems find supporters, as in the 
case of veronica and veronica. Would it not be a 
good plan to mark the accented syllable in those 
generic and specific names occurring in at least the 
more popular of the manuals of the various branches 
of natural history ? These accents need not appear 
on every repetition of the word, a good accented 
index would answer the purpose. The more fortu- 
nate of the dabblers in science, who live in large 
towns, and have the advantage of hearing lectures, 
and talking over their pet subjects with friends having 
a similar taste to their own, may not need this help, 
but it is different with those who live in out-of-the- 
way country places, and read but rarely hear anything 
about their favourite studies. — IV. G. Tuxford. 

Birds Singing at Midnight.—" X." expresses a 
wish to know whether it prevailed all over the 
country. I heard them singing on the nights of the 
15th and 16th of February, 1878, and other nights as 
well. — James Ingkby, Yorkshire. 

The "Fagus" of Cesar. — Caesar's words, 
" Materia cujusque generis, ut in Gallia, est, pneter 
fagum atque abietem," have puzzled many, and Mr. 
Freeman has opened up a subject on which it may be 
hoped that other correspondents will give an opinion. 
Selby has touched on it in several places. It can 
scarcely be doubted that Caesar must have seen the 
beech, which loves the chalk of Kent and Sussex, and 
is still the tree which characterises the hangers fring- 
ing the northern slope of the Sussex Downs, while as 
the sweet chestnut was (in all probability) introduced 
to Britain by the Romans, he appears to have noted 
its absence. Is it not then most likely that Caesar's 
"Fagus" was the chestnut? Both trees grew in 
Italy in his days, as is apparent from Virgil. It may 
be observed that Linnaeus included the beech and 
the chestnut under the same generic name " Fagus." 
Has this led translators of Caesar into an error ? Old 
Gerarde's quaint comparison of the fruit of the two 
trees is worth quotation. Speaking of the beech, he 
says, " The fruit or mast is contained in a huske or 
cup that is prickly and rough bristled, yet not so much 
as that of the chestnut ; which fruit being taken forth 
of the shells or urchin husks be covered with a soft 
and smooth skin, like in colour and smoothnesse to 
the chestnut." " The beech tree," he adds, " loveth 
a plaine and open countrey, and groweth very plenti- 
fully in many Forressts and desart places of Sussex, 
Kent, and sundry other counties." — F. H. Arnold, 

Colour of Birds' Eggs. — Can any of the readers 
of Science-Gossip inform me of anyway to preserve 
the colour of birds' eggs from fading ? I do not want 

varnish ; something that will not show, but keep the 
colour from growing dull ? — James Ingleby. 

Birds using Others' Nests. — In connection 
with birds appropriating the nests of others to lay in, 
the following may be interesting : — Walking through 
a small copse in the early part of the summer I dis- 
turbed a blue-tit which flew from a large bush. It 
was soon joined by its mate, and by their rapid 
motions and uneasy cries I concluded that their nest 
was not far off. There was, however, no likely place 
for it to be built, and I thought there must be some 
other reason for the uneasiness of the birds. In the 
bush before me there was a blackbird's nest, which, 
judging from its very untidy appearance, I expected 
to find empty. I tried it however, and to my surprise 
found it contained seven blue-tit's eggs. The black- 
bird's nest had probably been robbed early in the 
spring, and the tits had lined it with some soft 
material, and there laid their eggs. — T. L. S. 

Fossil Ferns. — I remember seeing in the British 
Museum some years ago a number of fossil ferns, the 
impressions beautifully coloured a bright emerald 
green, without destroying the sharpness. I should 
be glad to learn what colour is used for this purpose, 
and how applied. — IV. G. Tuxford. 

Query about the Daisy. — Will any reader kindly 
inform me on what authority Chaucer, in "The Legend 
of Good Women," states the following : — 

" The greate goodness of the queen Alceste 
That turned was into a daisy. 
She that for her husbande chose to die," &c. 


" In remembrance of her, and in honour 
Cybele made the daisy, and the flow'r 
Ycrowned all with white, as men may see 
And Mars gave her a crowne red, pardie ! 
Instead of rubies set among the white." 

C. F. IV. 

Poisonous Action of Dulcamara. — With refer- 
ence to your correspondent's query relative to the 
poisonous action of Dulcamara on man, I would beg 
to quote some interesting remarks from Professor 
Taylor's work on Poisons (3rd edition). That great 
toxicologist writes : "There are two species of night- 
shade {Solatium) S. Dulcamara, bitter-sweet or woody 
nightshade, which has a purple flower and bears red 
berries, and the 6". nigrum or garden nightshade, 
with a white flower and black berries. Duval gave 
to dogs four ounces of the aqueous extract, and, in 
another experiment, 180 ripe berries of the Dulcamara, 
without any ill effects resulting. On the other hand, 
Floyer states that thirty of the berries killed a dog in 
three hours. The differences may perhaps be recon- 
ciled by supposing that the active principle, solania, 
on which the poisonous properties of both species 
depend, varies in proportion at different seasons of 
the year. In one instance a decoction of the plant is 
said to have produced in a man dimness of sight, giddi- 
ness, and trembling of the limbs. In September, 
J 1853, the red berries of the woody nightshade are 
stated to have caused the death of a boy aged four. 
He had eaten some of the berries, and at first did not 
appear to suffer from them ; but eleven hours after- 
wards he was attacked with vomiting, purging, and 
convulsions, which continued throughout the day, 
the child being insensible in the intervals. He died 
convulsed in about twenty-four hours. Other children 
had partaken of the berries at the same time, but one 
of them suffered only slightly."— Lancet, June 28, 
1856, p. 715. All my own books on botany certainly 
point to the conclusion that Dulcamara berries are 
poisonous, although of much less virulence than those 
of belladonna ; from which I suspect persons ignorant 

4 6 


of the nature of these two solanums have been led into 
some confusion. In the preparation of a conserve 
from the berries, probably the active principle solania 
was dispersed, if so, not only half a pound, but a 
much larger quantity of it could be taken with 
impunity ; moreover, because the French chemist 
Duval gave both extract and berries to dogs without 
injury, does it follow that man should escape ? I be- 
lieve goats might eat any quantity without harm. I 
imagine no parent in his or her senses would permit 
a child to eat Dulcamara berries unless they wished to 
compass its death. — John Colebrook. 

Bombycide (Saturnia).— I have a fine specimen 
of Hyalophora Cecropia (6 inches across the wings), 
caught alive last July in a friend's garden at Clapham. 
Can any of your readers account for this? These 
moths surely never breed in England ? Is it not 
likely to have escaped from some entomological 
cabinet 1— James Ives. 

Tadpoles. — On March 15, 1878, I collected some 
frog's spawn, placing it in a small jar in a warm 
corner of my room, and was surprised at seeing one 
four days later. The little tadpoles had escaped 
from their prisons. At that time each was attached 
to its parent egg, all traces of which further on had 
disappeared. I also noticed the ciliary movement 
mentioned by " R. B. C," but once^only, although I 
made continual observations as the animals became 
more developed.—//. //., Aldebnrgh, Suffolk. 

A Spectre of the Mountain. — During a tour 
of two months on the Continent, I chanced to witness 
the following beautiful phenomenon : — On Sunday 
afternoon, September 1, 1878, we ascended the 
Eggischorn, from the Hotel Jungfrau (which is 7000 
feet above the sea). We reached the wooden cross 
on the summit (9640 feet) at 4.15. The day was dull, 
and the clouds were too thick to enable us to see 
clearly the glorious view of the Alps ; the Aletsch 
Glacier and Mergelen See alone being plainly visible. 
Having stayed there about an hour, we were on the 
point of descending, when one of our party ex- 
claimed, "Look, there is a rainbow!" and turning 
round I quickly added, "It is a spectre!" for gra- 
dually the phenomenon became visible, showing our- 
selves on the clouds facing us (in the east), surrounded 
by a double rainbow. To make sure that we were 
not imagining this beautiful vision, we waved our 
alpenstocks and hats, which were clearly discernible. 
Our height appeared somewhat elongated, so that the 
bar of the cross was lost in the rainbow. One 
apparent difference between this phenomenon and 
the so-called Spectre of the Brocken, was that we 
were not magnified, only lengthened, and that the 
bow was more arched than is usual. There were two 
guides and an Alpine traveller with us, none of whom 
had seen it before. — //. J Taylor. 

Dog and Kitten. — I have a high-bred pet blue 
terrier, who has hitherto appeared to live entirely for 
his master, and was at any rate a terror to cats, &c. 
In our house we have made several attempts to keep 
a cat, but our dog Charlie would not consent. About 
a week ago, a poor, weak, nearly starved to death 
kitten, about two months old, walked into the house, 
and was taken by our domestic quietly into the 
kitchen. Some food and milk was given to it, and 
pussy was placed snug in the corner of the fireplace, 
out of sight of the dog ; but it was not many minutes 
before he discovered there was a cat in the house, 
and instantly went in the direction where she was 
lying, in a great state of excitement and ready for 
fight. The kitten was alarmed, and stood up. To 

our surprise the dog, instead of attacking it, ap- 
peared to be instantly struck with its miserable 
appearance, and made no attempt to molest it. On 
the other hand, it showed evident signs of satisfac- 
tion, which soon convinced us that between the two 
there was a mutual understanding, for shortly after 
they were lying on the rug together. The same 
evening the usual saucer of milk was given to the 
dog, the cat followed the dog to the milk, and both 
lapped out of the saucer together. The cat-worrier 
and the kitten are now great friends. If this is not 
reason on the part of the dog, what is it ? If it is at 
least sympathy, it is of a kind not often enough 
shown by those who claim the sole exclusive right to 
possess the higher quality. — Alfred Tozer. 


read in "Nature" of November 14 that the original 
use of catechisms was to give precision to oral reli- 
gious instruction, I cannot think that there is any 
harm in an attempt to give precision to the teaching 
of science. Precision in the use of words is a quality 
not to be claimed by any writer who applies the term 
biennial to a cabbage. This is done in the first lesson 
in a little book on Elementary Botany by W. Bland, 
Master of the Endowed School, Duffield. It is 
nevertheless a very carefully written book, and that, 
nearly the only error which it contains, was probably 
the result of its author being misled by a similar 
statement in a Science primer by J. D. Hooker, C.B., 
P.R.S. The illustrious Director of the Royal Botanic 
Gardens, Kew, may be excused for not knowing that 
in my plebeian garden cabbages often live several 
years, and flower every season, which entitles them 
to be called perennial. Want of precision may be 
found sometimes in the orthography of generic names. 
One day last summer I saw and admired at a flower- 
show a plant labelled Bougainvillea. Wishing to 
know the Natural Order to which this plant belongs, 
I consulted the Index to Lindley's "Vegetable King- 
dom," but found no such word. Having, however, 
by the kindness of a neighbouring gardener, gained 
possession of an inflorescence of the plant, I guessed 
from the examination of it that it might belong 
to the Order Nyctaginacese. Turning to Lindley's 
account of that Order, I found among its genera 
Bugainvillea. It would be nothing wonderful for 
a gardener's label to be inaccurate, but that on the 
plant in question could not be said to be so, as the 
name on it was identical with what is given in the 
"Official Guide to the Royal Botanic Gardens," by 
D. Oliver, F.R.S., F.L.S., Keeper of the Herbarium 
at the Royal Gardens, and Professor of Botany in 
University College, London. Of this authoritative 
Guide I happen to possess the twenty-sixth edition. 
I dare not presume to say it is inaccurate, but I 
should like to know whether the Bougainvillea men- 
tioned in it be the same genus as in Lindley's 
"Vegetable Kingdom" is called Bugainvillea, and if 
so, whether in spelling the word I ought to follow 
Professor Lindley or Professor Oliver? So long as it 
remains uncertain, there can be no cause for appre- 
hension that any catechism which may be written 
will give the precision of religious teaching to that of 
science. — John Gibbs. 

The House-Fly and its Parasite. — In the 
January number of Science-Gossip is an article on 
" The Development of the House-fly and its Parasite." 
Having given a good deal of attention to the house-fly, 
I am able to affirm that Mr. Robson has fallen into an 
error. The figure given is not Musca domestica. 
The antennae are different, the eye is wrongly placed, 
the body is not the right shape, and the abdomen is 



quite wrong. Moreover, the maggot figured is not 
the maggot of Musca domestica, neither is the chrysalis. 
Again, Musca domestica never lays its eggs on meat, 
nor will they, when hatched, feed on it, as far as I ever 
observed. The egg is much too large if only mag- 
nified 30 times, as the egg of M. domestica scarcely 
ever exceeds ^ inch, which x 30 would be only I J inch, 
while the figure is 2\ inches full. In fact, Mr. Robson 
has been examining one of the flesh-flies under an error. 
If confirmation of my correction be required, I refer to 
Samuelson and Hicks, or, in fact, any work on the 
subject. — E. Hoi vies. 

Double Orange. — In opening an orange by 
"peeling" it, I have just come across what, to me, is 
a novelty amongst the many oranges in the dissection 
of which I have assisted, aided by my little household 
of seven or eight persons, but probably is well known 
amongst your botanical friends. However, as it may 
interest some of your readers, I send you a few 
remarks on it. On turning back a portion of the 
peel I found to my astonishment, instead of the usual 
orange pulp with its thin cuticle, the yellow peel of a 
miniature orange, of a conical form, having on one 
side a very distinct seam or opening reaching from 
the base to the apex of the cone. That the infant 
orange was easily separated from the giant, that had 
buried it alive within its own body was shown by the 
nature of the union between the two, gaps occurring 
between the woolly substance of the larger orange, 
and the similar covering of the base of the cone. On 
carefully inserting a penknife between the two I 
found that the complete form of the embryo, if I am 
right in using that term, was that of two cones base 
to base ; but whilst that end which I have described 
as lying just under the peel of its consumer was 
covered with a peel of the same nature and colour, 
but more delicate in texture and of a lighter hue, the 
end which joined the body of the orange was im- 
bedded in the usual white woolly substance but of a 
finer grain, but no yellow peel, except that it had a 
decided yellow tinge at its apex. I have said that 
the embryo separated easily from its matrix. There 
was, however, on one side a small tough aggrega- 
tion of fibres, forming a sort of hinge, after all the 
rest of the looser fibrous matter was separated. Per- 
haps some of your botanical friends will be good 
enough to tell me if they would consider this to be 
the undeveloped fruit stalk. By the help of a pocket 
glass on removing the embryo entire, I found that the 
under part, by which I mean the cone-like end which 
touched the body of the orange, was covered with 
the usual vein-like fibres, only, of course, very 
minute ; and most interesting of all the folding in 
process of the fruit leaf's development was very 
clearly shown. Dissecting the embryo the centre 
was found to consist of a small sac containing a few 
cells of the same shape as the orange pip, but they 
were pulpy and yellow. — M. A. S. 

Intelligence in Man and Animals.— The 
anecdotes of animals which have from time to time 
appeared in Science-Gossip and other publications, 
and a little personal observation and reflection, would, 
I should have thought, have suggested to your 
correspondent, Mr. H. D. Barclay, that what is called 
instinct in animals often passes under the name of 
reason in man, and that the difference which exists is 
chiefly one of development. Mr. Barclay says : " The 
great difficulty in the investigation of the minds of 
animals appears to be that man instinctively and 
unconsciously, unless checked by reflection, explains 
their actions, especially in extraordinary cases, by 
his own modes and laws of thought." Perhaps Mr. 

Barclay will kindly inform us how else we are to 
explain their actions if we are not to use our "own 
modes and laws of thought." If an animal does pre- 
cisely the same thing that a man would do under 
certain circumstances, are we not justified in con- 
cluding that animal and man are moved by the same 
power ? Is not memory an act of reasoning ? Is it 
simply instinct that induces a dog to starve itself to 
death on the grave of its master ; or risk its life 
unbidden to save that of a helpless child? The 
wonderful feats that animals have been taught to 
perform, contrary to their natural habits, and the 
marvellous memory exhibited by many, are proofs, I 
think, that they are endowed with something more 
than mere instinct. The impression that the intelli- 
gence of animals differs from man's only in degree is 
founded on good evidence, and the difference between 
the intelligence of the beggar and the prince would in 
all probability be far greater than that between the 
beggar and his dog. —A. C. Rogers, Red Lodge, 

Glyciphagus plumiger.— In the July number of 
Science-Gossip, Mr. A. D. Michael announced the 
capture of a single specimen of this acarus, and after 
remarking on one in the possession of Mr. George of 
Kirton Lindsay, says, "we may, I think, fairly claim 
this as a British species, although only a single indi- 
vidual has been detected in each instance." I have 
been fortunate in capturing a large number, male and 
female, of this interesting mite, and as in the former 
case, they were found among the fodder in a stable in 
this city. As there is a considerable quantity of 
foreign hay used in this place, it is quite probable it 
may have been introduced, but the fact of its being 
alive and active, in the middle of December, during a 
very severe frost, shows that it is hardy enough for 
our northern climate. — J. Lambert, Edinburgh. 


To Correspondents and Exchangers. — As we now 
publish Science-Gossip a week earlier than heretofore, we 
cannot possibly insert in the following number any communi- 
cations which reach us later than the 9th of the~ previous 

John Lambert (Edinburgh). — Many thanks for your excel- 
lently mounted slide of Glyciphagus plumiger. 

T. R. Jones (Flint). — The fossils are: — 1. Producta Llan- 
gollietisis, very abundant in the Carboniferous limestone rocks 
near Llangollen, North Wales ; and 2. Fragment of fossil coral 
from same strata, called Lousdaliajlori/oriiiis. 

H. L. Smith. — You will find the best account of our British 
newts in Cooke's " British Reptiles," published by Hardwicke & 
Bogue, 192 Piccadilly, at 6s. Itgives a full account of Lissotriton 

H. Bangham. — We cannot undertake to give the name of a 
moth from a magnified drawing of one of the antennae, although 
the structure much resembles that of the antennae of the fox- 

W. Bennett (Hereford). — Your bat cannot be without ears. 
Perhaps they are very small, and, if so, it may be the whiskered 
bat or the barbastelle. You should show the specimen to some 
competent naturalist, as it is desirable to know more about our 
British bats than we do. 

Tracy Apfleton. — A good and cheap popular work on 
ornithology is that on "Birds" by Adam White, published by 
Routledge, at 7s. 6d. The same firm have also issued the 
" British Ornithology," by P. H. Gosse, at the same price. 

J. N. D. (Tuxford). — We quite agree with you in your 
remarks as to Wood's work. The best book we know as a 
calendar is the Rev. Leonard Jenyn's " Observations in Natural 
History, with an Introduction on the Habit of Observing as 
connected with the Study of that Science, also a Calendar of 
Periodic Phenomena in Natural History." It is published by 
Van Voorst, at 10s. 6d. 

New Cross Microscopical Society. — C. W. L. enquires 
for the place of meeting and name of the secretary of the above 
society. Perhaps some of our readers will answer him. 

4 8 


J. R. N. — Your little fish is the black goby {Gobius nigcr). 

J. A. Wheldon. — Stark's " History of British Mosses," 
price js. 6d., published by Routledge ; and Cooke's "British 
Fungi," price 6s., published by Hardwicke & Bogue, 192 Picca- 

Any Cheltenham coleopterist who would be willing to assist 
a beginner in naming some specimens is requested to forward 
his name and address to the Editor. 

Perca. — Mr. Frank Buckland's "British Fishes," published 
by the Society for the Diffusion of Christian Knowledge, is a 
good introduction to the fishes of the British Islands. The 
volume on Fishes, published in Jardine's " Naturalists' Library" 
(Hardwicke & Bogue), is another good volume. 

S. B. A. — Both jellyfish and sea-anemones may be preserved 
in a solution of picric acid. 

W. G. Pearce. — There is a microscopical society at Bath, 
and if there is not already a natural history society there, it is 
not for lack of workers and others interested in the study. We 
should think it would require little effort to found a society 

R. H. W.— You will find full instructions for making artificial 
sea-water, &c. in Taylor's "Aquarium : its History, Structure, 
and Management," published at 6s. by Hardwicke & Bogue. 

T. S. P. — The fossils are : — 1. Head of Phacops, a silurian 
trilobite ; 2. Portion of a cystidean, a peculiar form of sea-lily 
or encrinite ; 3. Atrypa reticularis. 

J. A. Kay. — In the answer to your question last month the 
words, " having the outline of your sketch," should have followed 
after the words, " more than fifty species of Navicula." There 
are more than one thousand species of Navicula known alto- 

J. Finnemore. — Mr. G. M. Gowan, of 2oBeauchamp Square, 
Leamington, writes as follows : — " I see by Science-Gossip for 
January that Mr. Finnemore (of Truro) wishes for Smith's 
' Synopsis of the British Diatomaceae.' I have a copy of it, two 
volumes, in boards, one or two plates, loose, but quite complete. 
I am willing to part with it, should it be worth Mr. F.'s while to 
offer a fair price for so rare a work." 


First-class human physiological and pathological microscopic 
slides, mounted by Hunter, in exchange for good British lepi- 
doptera. — E. H. Jones, Rosslyn House, The Park, Ealing. 

Acme lineata, Vertigo substriata, Helix lamellata, H. 
aculeata, H. pygmcra, H.fusca, for any I'ertigo Moulitisiana, 
Testacella ka/iotidea, or maciilosics, or any other 
good shells. — J. Whitwham, Cross Lane Marsh, Huddersfield. 

Anatomical sections wanted for well-mounted slides. — F. \V. 
Edwards, 32 Hunslet Lane, Leeds. 

Foraminiferous sand from Barmouth, containing mvMy rare 
forms, in exchange for slides, material, or minerals.— J., W. 
Cotton, F.G.S., Barmouth. 

Will forward to anyone interested a copy of my new private 
exchange list for skins and eggs, compiled to facilitate exchanges 
and other useful purposes. — "Author," n Priory Road, Sheffield. 

Will give a collection of shells for any volume of Science- 
Gossip ; want all years since commencement. Also want 
Turton's "Land and Fresh-water Shells." — Musson, 68 Gold- 
smith Street, Nottingham. 

In duplicate about 100 different species of the British land 
and fresh-water shells, including well-authenticated examples of 
I'ertigo minutissima, V. alpestris, V. pusilla, V. substriata, 
V. a?igustior, L. involuta, L. Bur net ti, Succinea oblonga. 
Desiderata : good (named) foreign land shells, or numerous 
species of British birds' eggs, many by no means rare. — W. 
Sutton, Upper Claremont, Newcastle-on-Tyne. 

Crystals of salicine or potassic chlorate, in exchange for other 
well-mounted slides. — Thomas Shipton, The Terrace, Chester- 

Wanted, a good 5-inch object-glass. Offered geological, 
physiological, and other slides, many su'table for polariscope. — 
M. Fowler, Burn Row, Slamannan, N.B. 

Offered, Nos. 3, 38, 116, 173, 192, 206, 217, 355, 358, 384, 
515, 548, 557, 667, 709, nog, 1607, 1614, 1626, for other species. — 
D. J. Powrie, 3 Greenbank Street, Galashiels, N.B. 

H. pygh^a, C. minimum, A . tridens, and many other species 
from North Wales, offered for good specimens of Zonites cella- 
rius, nitidulus, nitidus, glaber, altiarius, or excavattts. — George 
Taylor, Mold, North Wales. 

Science-Gossip, 1874, 1875, bound; having duplicates of 
these, will exchange for other books, pocket microscope, or 
natural history objects. — 3 Belmont Villas, New Brompton, 

British coleoptera, complete collection, male and female 
specimens of nearly every British species ; 8000 specimens, 
mounted on cardboard, without pins (new style) ; correctly named. 
Particulars sent. Also collection of British birds' eggs, side- 
blown, labelled ; well-marked specimens, 100 varieties. Also 
South African and American collections. Wanted, any foreign 
eggs. Send list. — Henry Sissons, Westbourne Road, Sheffield. 

Rare European, British, and African eggs and skins. Fuji 
lists upon application. Wanted eggs and skins in exchange.— 
Sissons, Sharrow, Sheffield. 

Wanted, specimens of Ophiocoma and Coryne pusilla ; ex- 
change. — 3 Belmont Villas, New Brompton, Kent. 

Foraminifera from several localities, also zoophytes and 
mosses named and localised, well-mounted in balsam or damar ; 
plant hairs, &c, for other slides or unmounted sections, &c, or 
offers in shells, &c. — Mrs. Skilton, London Road, Brentford. 

Wanted, unmounted animal parasites, fleas, and ixodes, those 
from exotic animals preferred. — W. A. Hyslop, 22 Palmerston 
Place, Edinburgh. 

In exchange for good fronds of Fenestella from Silurian, 
Devonian, or Permian ; offer carboniferous or Bala fossils. — 
G. W. Shrubsole, Chester. 

Offered, American lepidoptera. Wanted, pupas of silk- 
worm, death's-head, swallow-tail, emperor ; eggs of Bombyx 
Zamanii and Cintliya.—T. Stock, 16 Colville Place, Edinburgh. 

Well-mounted slides in exchange for good diatoms, mounted 
or unmounted. — Jas. Blackshaw, 78 Lozells Road, Birmingham. 

Wanted, a good second-hand copy of Gosse's " Marine 
Zoology of the British Isles," in exchange for other works on 
natural history, or for cash.— G. N. W., 10 Edinburgh Place, 

Unio tumidus, U. pictorum, Anodonta cygnea, A. anatina, 
Valvata cristata, L. peregra, var. maritima, L. auricularia, 
var. acuta, L. glutinosa, A. Grayana, L. agrestis, L. mar- 
ginatus, H. pomatia, H. hispida, var. alba, H. hispida, var. 
subru/a, A. acicula, C. myosotis, and many other British 
species, for a copy of Rye's " British Beetles," or foreign shells. 
— Address E. R. F., 82 Abbey Street, Faversham, Kent. 

A fine series of trilobites (including the new Silurian forms, 
in exchange for microscopic rock sections. — Dr. Callaway, 
Wellington, Salop. 

I have several slides of interest to exchange for well-mounted 
objects. Lists if required. — T. Comlidge, 5 Norfolk Street, 

Unmounted micro material in greatvariety, including highly 
interesting and beautiful marine objects, such as Foraminifera, 
zoophytes, sertularians, Echinideae, Crustaceae, Holothuria 
plates, diatoms, and in situ on Algae in splendid condition ; fruited 
Algae, named, some prepared for balsam ; marine Entomostraceae 
and larva, &c. ; and some very good slides of same. Wanted, 
first class micro and lantern slides. Particulars on receipt of 
stamped address. — T. McGann, Burren, Ireland. 

A good 24-inch four-draw telescope in exchange. Wanted, 
good slides, Slack's " Marvels of Pond Life," or other books on 
microscopic subjects. — S. C. Hincks, Runfold, Farnham, Surrey. 

Wanted, transparent unmounted material in exchange for 
others, or Chinese natural curiosities, including insect archi- 
tecture. — Tylar, 165 Well Street, Birmingham. 

Coleoptera. — Necrobia rnjicollis, IHmarcha coriaria, 
Agelastica hyalensis, Donacia sericea, Coccinella i^-punc- 
tata, &c. for other species. Desiderata numerous. — Address, 
J. Wilcock, 85 Northgate, Wakefield. 

L. C. 7th ed. Nos. 291, 334, 353, 556, 710, 841b, gir, 858, 
958, 1059, I2 7°. '3 2 3. !43°. H4 1 . I 446, 1447. '47 1 . I S l6 . '537. 
1614, 1019, and others, for 5. 10, 44, 135, 174, 191, 215, 228, 235, 
348, 351, 360, and others. — T. Rogers, 27 Oldham Road, Man- 


"Geological Stories." Fourth edition. By J. E. Taylor, 
F.G.S., &c. London : Hardwicke & Bogue. 

"A Monograph of the Silurian Fossils of the Girvan District 
in Ayrshire." By Professor H. A. Nicholson and R. Etheridge, 
jun., F.G.S. London: W. Blackwood & Sons.J 

" Popular Science Review." January. 

"Midland Naturalist." January. 

" Land and Water." January. 

"American Naturalist." December. 

"Canadian Entomologist." December. 

" Botanische Zeitung." December. 

" Science pour Tous." 

" Science News." (Salem, Mass.) 

" Scottish Naturalist." January. 

"Journal of Applied Science." January. 
&c. &c. &c. 

Communications received up to 12TH ult. from : — 
W. B. H.— A. S.— C. R.-J. P. T.— Colonel B.— J. D.— G. C. 
— E. H. J.— J. S.— J. F. R.— M. W— H. B.— H. N. B.— 
J. M. W.— R. W. W.— J. A. W.— F. H. A.— W. C. T.— F. W. S. 
—A. T— C. F. W.— H. J. T.— H. H.— B. K.— J. I.— J. C— 
G. O. P. C— J. W.— M. A. S.— T. B. W.— E. W. M.— W. H. S. 
—A. J. J. B.— W. N. C— K. D— F. A.L.— D.J. P.— J. W. H. 
— S. B. A.— C. A. G.— H. U. J— J. W. C— F. L— W. W.— 
W. G. W— R. M. M— G. H. L.— Ci O. W— M. F.— T. S.— 
E. B. F.— E. D.— J. H. G.— E. H.-W. B.— J. P.— W. S.— 
H. P. M.— J. B.— D. H. P.— F. L. St. A.— J. A. W.— T. S.— 
H. P. S.— G. W. S.— H. C. W— H. M. P.— W. A. H.— M. S. 
—J. W. S.— A. G. R.— G. T. M.— H. S.— Dr. M. A. M. B.— 
J. A— F. W. E.— G. D. S.— M. D.— J. W. D. K.— E. L. F.— 
G. T— G. E. M.— J. W. C— G. R.— T. L.— T. C— W. G. P. 
—Dr. C. C.-S. C. H .— G. P.— D. D— B. S. D— E. D. M.— 
T. McG— T. W.— W. TV- J. W. S.— G. M. G— R. H. W.— 
T. R.— W. W.— &c. 





T will not do to rely 
on the chemists 
and druggists of 
the south of France 
or the Italian coast 
for the chemicals 
requisite for re- 
searches in the 
natural history of 
those parts. If you 
go to these worthy 
folk and ask for 
what you want, . 
they will stare at 
you and ask if you 
are a doctor, or 
what you intend 
to do. If you ex- 
plain, they will 
gaze at you in as- 
tonishment, and 
perhaps ask to see your papers, and you will be lucky 
if they do not denounce you to the police ! It is 
therefore necessary to carry all requisites with one. 
But liquid chemicals are bulky, and leaky bottles 
may stain the contents of the portmanteau ; besides 
which the stock is soon exhausted. Crystalline sub- 
stances, on the other hand, are easily conveyed, and 
contain in small bulk enough material to prepare and 
preserve a large number of objects. 

The beautiful orange crystals of bichromate of 
potash form a very suitable solution for histological 
researches and for the preservation of delicate organ- 
isms. A few grammes of this salt, portable in any 
box, will meet all requirements. It dissolves in fresh 
or salt water, a few crystals saturating a large bulk. 
In this solution all the lower gelatinous animals, such 
as polypes, Hydromedusce, Medusae, Salpae, cteno- 
phora, &c, can be perfectly preserved. The shell- 
less mollusca and annelids, and all worms with tough 
skin can be kept in it. Small Crustacea and bryozoa 
give also excellent results. We have kept a splendid 
Jl r cdusa aarita in this way for a whole year, and its 
No. 171. 

beauty and transparency leave nothing to be desired. 
But this solution has one inconvenience, it permits 
the development of mould ; but this can be prevented 
by the addition of a few drops of phenic acid or 
phenic alcohol. 

For histological purposes it is as good as, but acts 
more delicately than chromic acid. It hardens the 
tissues, brings out the outlines of the cellules, shows 
their nuclei, and coagulates the sarcode. It is also 
a valuable agent in maceration, dissolving in most 
cases the intercellular cement and separating the parts. 
On this account only tough-skinned organisms can be 
preserved in it, lest the tissues fall to pieces. Still 
the most delicate parts of the vibratile cilia and 
infusoria are well preserved. 

Another convenient and portable salt is perman- 
ganate of potash, a little of which goes a long way. 
It is especially good in histological researches, as it 
acts like osmic acid, burning up the protoplasm, 
bringing out the minutiae, and showing the nuclei 
outlines of cells, &c. It is used as a saturated solution 
in distilled or very pure spring water. Sea- water also 
dissolves it. The concentrated solution, of a lovely 
violet colour, kills small organisms at once, and then 
burns them. They are left in it from thirty minutes 
to an hour, then withdrawn and placed in alcohol, 
after which they can be made transparent with essence 
of terebinth and mounted in Canada balsam. Beau- 
tiful results are thus obtained with echinoderms, 
zoophytes, worms, and marine arthropoda. For 
delicate researches, especially in the ciliated infusoria, 
it is better than osmic acid) without its great cost, 
and is everywhere easily obtained. G. du P. 

Note by Translator. — Permanganate being deli- 
quescent, and both salts highly coloured, wide-mouthed 
bottles will be found the best mode of conveyance ; 
the corks being coated inside with beeswax or other 
protecting substance. The prices of the salts are, 
bichromate, is. tyi. per lb., and permanganate, S</. 
per oz. W. H. D. 

* By G. du Flessis, in " Bulletin de la Societe Vaudoise des 
Sciences Naturelles," ser. 2, vol. xv. pp. 278-280, April 1878. 
Translated by W. H. Dalton. 





THE pitcher-plant, Sarracenia purpurea, which 
grows in great abundance in our swamps and 
marshes, is said to be possessed of very valuable 
medicinal properties, as a mitigator of the severer 
symptoms of smallpox. I am not prepared to 
hazard an opinion respecting the properties thus 
claimed for it, but I think it probabk that there are 
many plants, wild plants especially, whose virtues 
are still undeveloped ; nor is it unlikely that it may 
have pleased the God of Nature to provide that our 
discovery of those virtues should be gradual and pro- 
gressive, for the purpose of inciting us to persevere 
in our endeavours to increase our stores of know- 
ledge, and thus to be constantly adding to the fresh 
disclosures ever coming to light of His wisdom and 
His goodness. 

The pitcher-plant, belonging to the Order Sarra- 
ceniaceae, is a semi-aquatic plant, belonging to the 
water-pitcher family, and luxuriates in moist situa- 
tions ; but I have grown it, although without signal 
success, in my garden, and, with better effect, in 
large pots or boxes filled partly with rough peat-soil 
and partly with sphagnum moss. I never found the 
leaves of the plant without cold water in them, even 
in the hottest weather, floating on which are in- 
variably discovered a number of minute drowned or 
drowning insects. 

There is a swamp, in the neighbourhood of this 
town, in which, in addition to pitcher-plants, are 
found many other interesting specimens of our flora, 
e.g. Ledum palustre, Ledum latifolium, Kalmia an- 
gustifolia, &c, plants known in England by the con- 
ventional term, "American Plants," and cultivated 
"at home" with great care and at considerable cost. 

The milkweed, Asclepias. — This family is variously 
divided, by different botanists, into, 51, 36, and 22 
species. The last is the American limit. 

The spring-shoots of one of these plants, A. Syriaca, 
are used by the habitans of the Province of Quebec 
as an esculent ; and the cotton, soft as down, con- 
cealed within its pods, forms, in some cases, the 
stuffing of their beds. This cotton is of peculiarly 
soft texture, and has, in consequence, been called 
" Virginian silk." 

Another of the milkweeds, A. iuberosa, is a com- 
mon plant in the county of Peterborough. It is a very 
showy plant, with bright orange umbellate blossoms. 
The English name of this species is the pleurisy-root. 
The family, as we are informed by Gray, derives its 
name from ^Esculapius. 

I do not think there would be much difficulty in 
cultivating the milkweeds with beneficial commercial 
results. The requisites would be a very light soil 
and abundant space. 

New Jersey Tea, Ceanothus Americanus. — This is 
an ornamental shrub, growing to the height of from 

three to four feet, and embellished, in summer, with 
clusters of elegant white flowers possessing a faintly 
sweet perfume. The shrub dies down to the roots 
every winter. It has, not unfrequently, been used as 
a substitute for the Chinese leaves ; but although by 
no means unpalatable, we Canadians cannot flatter 
ourselves that it will ever prove a formidable rival to 
either Hyson or Bohea. 

It is, however, satisfactory to know that in the 
event of our supply from the Celestial Empire being 
at any time cut off, we may still indulge, —furnished 
by our own soil, for I have tasted the infusion, — in 
the "cups that cheer but not inebriate." 

Vincent Clementi, B.A. 

Peterborough, Cauda. 



By G. R. Vine. 

{Continued from page 276, vol. 187S.) 

IN the study of the polyzoa — whether recent or 
fossil — two distinct characters are presented to 
our view : A true morphological, and a true physio- 
logical character. The morphology of the fossil 
polyzoa seems to come more fully within the de- 
scriptive range of the palaeontologist than the other ; 
but if the biologist is speculate when dealing 
with living forms, surely when dealing with the 
more ancient forms, sound physiological knowledge 
will be an advantage rather than a disparagement. 
Hence, in applying the results of modern investi- 
gation into the biology of the polyzoa, I have been 
guided in my selection more by the necessity on 
the part of the reader of the accurate appreciation 
of these results, than by the many and varied cha- 
racter of the investigations ; some of which are too 
elaborate for general appreciation. 

It seems to me then to be an axiom by no means 
inappreciable that the life history of the palaeozoic 
polyzoa can form no exception to the life history of 
polyzoa generally. The definite forms of the one are 
as truly characteristic as the definite forms of the other. 
Among recent polyzoa no type exists bearing the 
close affinities with the palaeozoic types, the nearest 
approach to the Fenestella being the Retihornera of 
Kirchenpaur. These, however, differ in many parti- 
culars — especially so in the mode of development of 
the cells along the sides of the fenestrules, and of 
the non-existence of a central keel. But the vital 
actions of the individual animals of the Retihornera 
were essentially of the same character as the vital 
actions of the animals of Fenestella. It will be well, 
therefore, to devote a few paragraphs to the record of 
the ordinary modes of propagation noticeable among 
the polyzoa, so that we may be able to appreciate 
more fully the value and the bearing of the facts which 
will follow. 



According to Dr. Allman, the polyzoa have three 
distinct modes of reproduction. By buds or gemma?, 
by true ova, and by free locomotive embryos. 

The gemmoe or buds are developed on the body of 
the polypides : this always happens whenever the 
cells are in mutual apposition. If the cells are dis- 
tinct they are developed from the connecting stem or 
stolon, as in the recent Laguncula reptans. 

"The best examples" of the former mode "are 
furnished by the Flustra and their allies. From a 
single cell of the Flustra five such buds may be sent 
off, which develop themselves into new polypides 
around it ; and these in their turn produce buds from 
their unattached margins, so as rapidly to augment 
the number of cells to a very large amount. To this 
extension there seems no definite limit, and it often 
happens that the cells in the central portion of the leaf- 
like expansion of a Flustra are devoid of contents and 
have lost their vitality whilst their edges are in a state 
of active growth."* 

Since this was written the " dead cells " have formed 
the subject of many an excellent paper by Claparede, 
Smitt, Nitsche, and Hincks. The cells are not dead 
in a true and literal sense, for they often contain black 
or brown spots, supposed by Ellis (1755) " to be the 
remains of the animals once inhabiting these cells." 
These dark bodies are supposed — and their history 
has been accurately traced by Hincks — to be "germ 
capsules," and these may be characterised, if not as a 
fourth, at least as a very peculiar method of repro- 
duction. This view, however, is opposed to that of 
Claparede who considered the " dark bodies to be the 
result of retrogressive metamorphosis of the original 
polypides which, under certain circumstances shrink 
back into this rudimentary condition, passing through 
the same stages in their decline as in their progress 
towards maturity, but in an inverse order." t 

Reproduction by ova is the result of impregnation 
of the ova with the spermatozoa. Both the male and 
the female particles are developed within the same 
polypides, only situated in different parts of the body.J 
The embryo is first a hollow sphere, a layer is then 
thrown off from the surface at the same time that an 
opening is made in the wall of the sphere ; a second 
sort of little sphere is thus formed within the first, and 
here little polypides are gradually developed. § This 
development often takes place within the body of the 
parent, and their final discharge is by an opening 
situated beneath the tentacular circle. 

I do not take into this account all the facts that 
have been promulgated respecting the reproduction of 
polyzoa by buds and by fertilised ova. A good paper 
by Nitsche, on the mode of reproduction of Flustra 
membranacea, is to be found in the " Quarterly Journal 

* Dr. Carpenter, 1868. 

t Hincks's " Contribution to the History of Polyzoa." 
% See Dr. Carpenter, p. 578-9, "Quarterly Journal of the 
Microscopical Society." vol. xiii. 
$ Dr. Ord, M.D. 

of the Microscopical Society," vol. ii. It is true, how- 
ever, that not all the polypes are equally reproductive. 
In recent polyzoa, and in all probability in the fossil 
also, there were distinct centres of reproductive energy. 
These are the oocecia or the ovicells of Busk and 
others. In some of the polyzoa the ovicells are 
separated from the ordinary cell structure and are 
developed in the axils of the zoocecia, or else by an 
inflation of the ordinary cell. Among the cyclosto- 
matous polyzoa, the ovicells of Crisia and Crisidia 
are thus formed in the axils. The observations made 
on the ovicells of Idmoneidse are scanty — but in the 
species called Idmonea gracillima, brought to light 
during the Porcupine soundings from a depth in the 
Atlantic at from 286 to 322 fathoms, the ovicells are 
pyriform like Crisia. 

In Hornera frondiculata the ovicells are oblon j 
and keeled— and in this and in several other species 
they are dorsal : while in H. violacea the ovicells are 
anterior either wholly or in part. They are unknown 
in Retihornera, but in Pustulopora they are tumid. 
In the Tubuliporidce (Alecto and Tubulipora) the 
ovicells are represented by an uniform inflation of a 
part of the zoarium. 

The ovarian cells of many of the Cheilostomata are 
cells situated among the ordinary cells of the polyzoary. 
They are known by certain characters and are easily 
distinguished by those who are in any way acquainted 
with the polyzoa. In the Salicornaria either a 
conical tooth or an elongated slit marks the ovarian 
cell. In the Membranipora, they are either triangu- 
larly marked, deeply immersed, or large and con- 
spicuous. In Lepralia some are peculiarly punctured, 
or else globose. In Cellepora and Eschara they are 
either globose or else subglobose — except in E. mom~ 
lifera, here there are no ovicells but what answers 
the same purpose^/?;-///*? cells, large, depressed, and 
irregularly placed. In Melicerita the ovicells are im- 
mersed, opening with a cresentic within the summit 
of the cell ; while in Retepora there is either a vertical 
slit, or a large opening in front. 

To the living polyzoa two very remarkable, but 
minute appendages are attached. One is the avicu- 
laria, or bird's head process ; the other is the vibri- 
cula or whip-like spines. Much doubt exists as to 
the real function of either of the appendages. They 
are present in nearly all the Cheilostomatous polyzoa. 
In the Cyclostomata these appendages are rare — 
probably the vibricula are only found among the 
Crisia and the Crisidea — and as the carboniferous 
polyzoa are generally placed among the Cyclostomata 
it would be useless therefore to seek for these appen- 
dages. But there is strong presumptive evidence that 
in some at least of the Fenestella and Glauconome 
we may discover— either by inflations of the cells, or 
by gibbous masses clustering round the cell mouths, 
indications of one of the modes of reproduction 
prevalent among the carboniferous polyzoa. For 
specimens of these gibbous masses I have sought 

D 2 

5 2 


very earnestly amongst my material, and I have been 
rewarded by finding some surrounding the cell 
mouths — others attached to the spiniferous processes 
of Fenestella, and some few attached to the spiniferous 
and infertile branches of Fenestella and Polypora. 

To the Fenestella other small processes were at- 
tached, and wherever they exist they are generally 
developed, but not always, on the margins of the frond. 
Some of these are of a spine-like, or rather of a hook- 
like character : and these hooks are always turned 
towards the margin whence the processes are de- 
veloped. On other parts of the polyzoary — some- 

of recent polyzoa — as was served by Pala;oeoryne in 
the ancient group. 

The reproductive history of Fenestella generally 
seem to me to follow any co-ordinate type of the 
genus. The same character in the cell, the same idea 
prevalent in the Palseocoryne and in the spiniferous 
and infertile branches, and the same character of the 
bifurcations exist in one species as in the others ; but 
there are certain peculiarities about F. plebeia that 
are apparently absent in other forms. 

The corallum (or polyzoary), says M'Coy, was 
flat, expanded, and fan - shape ; thickly carinated 

Fig. 42. — Vertical and horizontal s:ctlon of shale containing F. p'.e'xict, M'Coy. Natural size. 

*"'£• 43- — The broken edge of Fig. 1, reversed ; the \ refers to the continuation on the same 
plane of the polyzoon — slightly different at c. 

U fes^ 

Fig. 45. — Spiniferous branch 
of Polypora tubcrcitlata. 


Fig. 44. — Enlargement of infertile roots and branches as at a in both 
figures, at X, Pakeocoryne, and infertile processes are developed, 
pointing upwards. Branches and root-like process slightly exagge- 

times in the front, sometimes on the back, other 
processes are developed, of a character altogether 
different from these spiniferous branches. These are 
the Pal&ocoryne both radiata and Scotica of Duncan. 
Singularly enough these have been placed among the 
Hydrozoa, and characters given by him to separate 
parts altogether at variance with the facts. Palaso- 
coryne, however, are unique appendages, and they 
indicate another method of reproduction — peculiar to 
the fenestrate forms of polyzoa found in the palaeo- 
zoic rocks. Neither the appendages of Bicellaria 
tuba, nor the anomalous ones of Bimeria in any way 
resemble — or serve similar purposes in the life-history 


O O O O O » Op O q O O 


Fig. 47. — Diagram of Palaeo- 
coryne, showing that the 
Fenestella cells are con- 
tinued along the base of 
the processes, and are not 
covered up by them. (By 
Mr. John Young.) 

Fig. 46. — Sketch of branch- 
ing spiniferous process on 
frond of Fenestella, from 
Cragenglen- Campsie, 
Scotland (four times natural 
size). By Mr. John Young. 

interstices, with thin and regular dissepiments. The 
fenestrules were equal and rectangular, from two to 
three times as long as wide, with a width equal to 
that of the interstices. There are four or five cell 
pores to length of fenestrule, with slight prominent 
margins, about the diameter of the cell apart. The 
reverse of the interstices are minutely granulated, and 
very coarsely sulcate longitudinally. 



I have before me the fragments of a slab of car- 
boniferous shale from the polyzoa beds of North Wales 
(fig. 42). It is about four inches square, and the 
average thickness is about one inch. The specimen 
was sent to me by my friend, G. W. Shrubsole, 

character. On breaking my own across the middle 
and otherwise mutilating it, I was let into the secret 
of Fenestella growth, for I found on the broken sides 
evidence that I have long sought for, and much more 
than I ever expected to obtain. 

/ffi 9 1 

Fig. 48.— Infertile branch of Paly- 
J>ora tuberculata. (Prout, Hair- 

Fig. 49.— Infertile branches of Messrs. Young, 
peculiarly developed on the margin of a Fenes- 
tella, from Hairmyres. (My own cabinet.) 

F.G.S., and he had in his possession a slab even 
larger still, but unfortunately he has failed in other 
visits to the district of obtaining more of the same 


( .%%, 

v 7 


i ®, 




Fig. 50. — Palseocoryne attached 
to Fig. 51. 

I V- I.. //, 

:, &\ 

Vo 1 Vi 

Fig- Si- — Fenestella plebeia ; showing the interrupted development 
of the fenestrules ; the entire absence of fenestrules at a, on 
face on the back are partially developed fenestrules of the 
character shown at b. Previous to being slightly rubbed down, 
PalKOCoryne were attached of the shape and character of c. (In 
my own cabinet.) 

Fig. 52.— Processes from side of Fenestella. (Mr. Shrubsole-'s ' 

The general idea of Fenestella growth is, that it 
was either cup-shape or flabelliform, springing from a 
rooted base similar to the recent Retepora or the 
Gorgonia. My belief is that this species at least was 
recumbent in habit, and that it began life on some 
fixed spot, and that from this point it gradually spread 
over the soft muddy bottom. Its development in 
one continuous plane, in either large or small frondsy 
was dependent upon the quantity of sediment held in 
solution by the waters above. It the water was 
tolerably fine and free from much sedimentary matter, 



the fronds of F. plebeia would be correspondingly 
large ; but if the waters were surcharged with fine 
mud-like particles, like the Welsh shales, then these, 
falling upon the recumbent life form would soon 
bury itself out of sight. In the one case the frond 
would be perhaps from three to five inches square, in 
the other perhaps not more than one inch. The 
mystery of development is apparent in this recum- 
bency, and we have no better example of the battle 
of life in the whole palaeontology of the older rocks 
than is to be found in the life history of these 
palaeozoic polyzoa. 

During the last twelve months I have examined a 
vast number of the fronds of F. plebeia, and I find 
everywhere that the inequalities of the surface add to 
the grace of the Fenestella. Here there is a dead 
Productus,* there some fallen encrinal stems, im- 
bedded in the mud. Over these the delicate polyzoa 
weave their beautiful polyzoary, adapting themselves 
gradually to all the undulations of the surface. Not, 
however, passing over the shell or the stem with 
that sharpness or splint-like character which would 
exist had the polyzoary been developed in an upright 
position— but delicately weaving their network even 
into the angles formed by the rounded stem as it lay 
in contact with the bottom. In no place is the poly- 
zoary doubled upon itself so far as I am aware. 

In figures 42 and 43, I have given an outline of 
the fractured shale of the natural size of my specimens. 
The continuous outlines are the shape of the block, 
while the dotted ones represent the exposed edges 
of the Fenestella. The marks in both figures are 
parts of the same polyzoary on the same plane, only 
one represents the right-hand fragment, while the 
other is the left-hand fragment reversed. There is a 
slight difference in the one that is not found in the 
other (c, fig. 43). At a in the two figures there are in- 
fertile processes of a root-like character, enlarged in fig. 
44 to show their connection with layers of the polyzoary 
on certain planes. The character of these root-like 
processes will be considered further on. At the upper 
surface at point a, fig. 44, Palaeocoryne is developed 
on the under part of the frond, and the poriferous face 
just at this particular point is much confused in cha- 
racter ; portions of the branches, with several bi- 
furcations, turning towards each other and meeting 
in a rounded form at the top. This, however is a 
peculiarity at this one point only, otherwise the frond 
is amply and admirably developed on other parts of 
the same plane. Here, at least, Palaeocoryne serves 
the purpose, not only of the supporting of the poly- 
zoary, but actually of passing over the reproductive 
power from one stage to another higher up, producing 
the uppermost dotted portion of the frond at a in 
figs. 42 and 43. From the peculiar character of F. 
plcbcia at this point, I am inclined to the belief that 
this is only one of many points where this energy 

* Longispinus. 

exists on this particular plane. There was a dis- 
turbing cause, and this too has left its stamp upon 
the shale. A large productus ^settled down upon the 
polyzoary, burying a portion of the frond and forcing 
by its unpleasant presence either death or new 
development upon the polyzoa. 

By the possession of these singular appendages, 
Palaeocoryne, the colony was saved from destruction 
and development was carried on a stage higher up. 
In another piece of shale I have specimens of 
F. plebeia, on two planes. Here Productus longispinus 
is the original tenant, and where Palaeocoryne passes 
over the life form from the lower to the higher, no 
confusion whatever takes place in development of the 
polyzoary ; and in another specimen where there is no 
disturbing influence the frond, or rather the polyzoary, 
is beautifully developed, with that flat, expanded fan- 
like character noticed by M'Coy in his description 
of the species. 

By the careful measurement of the exposed sections 
of Fenestella by the compass, on fig. 42, I obtain a - 
length of about fourteen inches, and this multiplied 
by three, which is considerably less than the average, 
gives a surface of about forty-two superficial inches — 
an idea of Fenestella growth altogether different from 
that generally entertained as to the capacity of the 

Many of the earlier of Mr. Shrubsole's Welsh 
Fenestella plebeia I was inclined to place under the 
descriptive character of Phillips' sp. F. flabellicla ; but 
as specimen after specimen began to show characters 
altogether different from Phillips' diagnosis, I declined 
to place any more with that species. After breaking 
up my shale, I forwarded a small portion of it to 
Mr. John Young, F.G.S., of the Hunterian Museum, 
Glasgow, and he kindly identified the specimen as 
a fragment of F. plebeia (M'Coy). He also stated 
in his letter (July 7, 1878), that "It would be an 
interesting point to prove, in a satisfactory manner, 
that Fenestella and other kindred forms of fenestrated 
polyzoa grew in a recumbent method over the car- 
boniferous old sea bottoms. One would be inclined 
to think, that from the small size of the roots com- 
pared with the large size of the fronds in many of the 
species, that the recumbent method was their natural 
way of growth." So far as I am acquainted with the 
subject there is no literature extant respecting this 
idea, and I believe Mr. Young is equally ignorant of 
any. The description and the figures of my slab will 
be, I believe, sufficient to prove the habit of the species, 
and any doubt respecting the true interpretations of 
the facts can be satisfactorily corrected by a reference 
to the fossils which I shall continue to keep in my 

I shall now take Palaeocoryne in all its stages, and 
endeavour to identify the whole as generative processes 
of the fenestrate polyzoa. 

Attercliffe, Sheffield. 

( To be continued.) 




AN inquiry at p. 281 in Science-Gossip for De- 
cember suggests that a few remarks grounded 
on observation of several species of hawks may not 
be unacceptable to young ornithologists. These 
birds being now rare in most districts, opportunities 
for inspecting recent specimens are not common. 

The first description, referred to, seems to relate 
to a kestrel ; the second — wanting an important item, 
viz., size, may concern a sparrow-hawk — but is too 
vague to support a reliable opinion. 

Peregrines, hobbies, kestrels and merlins have 
long and pointed wings, the first or second quill 
being longer than others ; they have also " the falcon's 
tooth," a process jutting downwards from either edge 
of the upper mandible. 

Sparrow-hawks, which Markham and the 7 M eligieuse 
of St. Alban's would have included with the goshawk 
as short-winged, have the fourth primary longer than 
the fifth, which exceeds the third, giving together 
rounder outline of wing and more lapwing or partridge- 
like flight. Sparrow-hawks, and the long-winged 
harriers, have a waved side edge to the upper mandible, 
the convexity being downwards and placed nearer the 
base than is the tooth of the Falconidre, that forms 
their substitute for it. 

Most hawks have increasing tendency to exchange 
dark shades for lighter tints, and the males of several 
species to assume a distinctly grey colour instead. 
Not only do individuals of the same species differ from 
Others of like age, but do so themselves at different 
ages, and much confusion has thus been caused. 

The female kestrel, and, if I remember, the young 
of both sexes, at first, exhibit a warm foxy brown of 
back, head and tail, the first part being freely sprinkled 
with black triangles. A long tail projecting more 
than an inch beyond the folded wings is barred all 
down ; the halves of such dark traverses are not, 
however, exactly continuous with their fellows on the 
opposite web. The ground colour, in front, varies 
from a dirty white or yellowish grey to a rufous tinge ; 
the breast markings on this are narrow, vertical, 
light reddish-brown splashes or streakings ; below, 
these sometimes run together and expand, after the 
semblance of knotted cords, like the markings on the 
blue butterfly's scale. 

The kestrel's head is elongated and flattened on the 
vertex ; the beak is blue with black tip ; the base 
being wide with yellow cere across it ; behind this 
are many bristles. The eyes are large, dark and soft, 
with yellow edges to the lids. The slightly larger 
female after moulting retains her peculiarities, but 
the male gradually acquires a pretty lavender of head 
and pole finely streaked with vertical black lines ; the 
back is then a richer cinnamon and with fewer black 
patches ; the tail grey, with often only one bar ; 
broad, terminal, and edged below with white. If, 

however, the tail feathers be spread, remains of barr- 
ing may, perhaps, be found distributed irregularly and 
chiefly, or entirely on the inner webs — one single spot 
in several may be seen. A very fine female, in the 
writer's possession, has the ground colour of the tail 
approaching a faded grey, the marks much paler than 
usual, and the back cinnamon almost as brilliant as 
that usually seen in males. Well-padded, strong, 
feet are shorter proportionately than those of other 
falcons, the sparrow-hawk or harriers ; and so are 
the tarsi, except those of the peregrine.; the talons 
are straighter and shorter than in the species just 
mentioned ; weight, male about 65 ounces, length 
13-15 inches, spread 27 inches. The much heavier 
female sparrow-hawk is, at least, an inch longer from 
beak to tail, but little wider of wing. 

Young peregrines show a warmish but less red 
brown, and their breast markings, at this age, are 
mostly vertical and of the same hue ; subsequently 
these are replaced by much darker, horizontal, chevron- 
like, traverses on breast, abdomen, and on under 
wing coverts — but quite the upper streakings pass 
into flask or tear-shaped spots, both becoming fewer 
and lighter with advancing age, until the breast shows 
nearly snow-white, a prong of which partly encircles 
the throat, gorget fashion — above the ends is a 
dark patch streaming back from either angle of the 
mouth ; this peculiarity is more or less observable in 
other falcons. The mature, but still young, peregrine 
has the head, back and short tail of deep slate colour, 
closely blotched with bluish black, which at a short 
distance masks the general colour ; both become 
lighter. The closed wings reach almost to the end 
of the tail, which is so folded that a sort of channel 
down it appears anteriorly. A fine female weighed 
2 lb. 9 oz., measured 19 in., and spread 42 in. The 
flesh was hard and very red, the heart large and 
thick, the ligaments, aponeuroses, and tendons were 
tough ; the feet very long, tarsi short and strong ; the 
back toe and claw terrible. This bird was shot 
stooping at pigeons near a harbour mill ; White's 
description and Morris's illustration tally closely 
with it. The only supposed Iceland falcon I recollect 
to have seen was higher, with longer neck, legs and 
tail, the latter extending much beyond the wings ; 
the beak was carried further out and pinched in at 
the setting on, whereas that of the peregrine, expands 
widely there. The feet of the hobby and merlin 
have the relative length of a peregrine, but not the 
stoutness. The hobby's wings reach quite to the 
extremity of the tail ; the facial patch is well marked ; 
the breast streakings are bolder, broader, and darker 
than those of the kestrel or merlin ; the tail of the 
latter is long, passing an inch or an inch and a half 
beyond the wings, and is barred freely with light- 
coloured traverses, they and the interspaces being 
nearly of equal width. The female is larger than the 
male ; the brown colour is lighter than that of the 
sparrow-hawk, but less red than the kestrel ; the 



male, like that of the hobby and sparrow-hawk, 
becomes dark grey above and behind, with reddish 
sides of neck and breast. The merlin may be known 
in the air by exceedingly rapid, unswerving, pigeon- 
like, headlong flight, and by small size, and, when 
seen more closely by the falcon tooth, warm but not 
red brown and long tail, with numerous orange- 
brown traverses. There is greater difference of size 
between the sexes of sparrow-hawks than is the case 
with kestrels or merlins. 

The sparrow-hawk's shanks are long, and the toes 
also ; the former being, in the female, 2| inches long, 
the middle toe if, the back one fth, and far stouter 

it is wanting in the falcon tooth, and somewhat in 
strength of foot and leg. The young marsh harrier, 
or moor buzzard of Bewick, who gives an excellent 
representation of it, is of a deep brown, the colour 
of a dark brown red game pullet, but with some 
feathers laced at the edges by a lighter shade. The 
head alone differs in colour, and with a dirty yellowish- 
white cap. The beak is carried out and long, the 
feet strong, and the general aspect ferocious. The 
hen harrier has a slyer and more perky, softer look, 
with a distinct owl-like facial fringe or whisker ; tall, 
long-legged, and upstanding, it has a long tail reach- 
ing far below the closed wings ; the plumage is rusty 

Fig. S3.— The Kite (Milvus rcgalis). 

.than the others. The long tail has a few dark bars 
carried straight across both webs, or meeting with a 
slight angle that looks upwards. The breast mark- 
ing, and those of the abdomen and under wing 
coverts, are very similar to the peregrine's chevron, 
but lighter in colour. As the male gradually becomes 
greyish, with a reddish breast, the female adopts a 
softer brown and paler traverses ; she has always a 
sufficient scowl, very different from the haughty 
aspect of the peregrine, hobby or merlin, or the 
wistful pensive look of the kestrel. Of three harriers 
one approaches the buzzard in appearance ; another, 
owls ; the third, in some respects perhaps, more nearly 
the kestrel, that is in lightness and length of wing, but 

Fig. 54. — Sparrow-Hawk (Accipiter 
fri>i g ilia riits) . 

and mealy, reddish or darkish brown, 
broken or streaked ; the breast has vertical 
splashings ; tail traverses, and interspaces 
are pretty equal, and perhaps mingled with 
white ; a show of this on the tail coverts 
has procured the name of ringtail, assigned 
by Bishop Stanley to the goshawk. The 
vertex is round, and the head wanting in the length 
and breadth and over-hanging brows of the peregrine 
or kestrel. The spread of harriers is very consider- 
able ; I regret to have mislaid my own measurements. 
Colonel Montague's harrier, presumably the blue- 
hawk, with which the observant old naturalist of Sel- 
borne was acquainted (for he separately describes the 
peregrine sometimes thus styled), is an altogether 
lighter and more elegant bird ; long with weaker feet 
and beak than those just spoken of j two Montague's 
harriers in the writer's collection differ much in 
colour ; one has a decidedly rufous breast and dark 
plumage, richer and warmer than that of the female 
sparrow-hawk, and having here and there bright 
orange lacing to feathers ; the other is larger and 



paler with dirty white breast and sparsely covered 
with long and wide tongue-shaped light red splashes, 
base upwards ; this bird had, when spread, a very 
mottled appearance of wings underneath, caused by 
external marking showing through and barring the 
silver grey beneath. 

The talons of harriers or sparrow-hawks, who are 
rather snatchers and pouncers, than swoopers and 
strikers, are proportionately longer, sharper, and more 
curved than those of most genera, but not so stout. 
The beaks of harriers, like those of buzzards, do not 
at once bend downwards, gradually forming a curve, 
but at first project outwards. They are narrower at 

was represented in the wholesale massacre at Glen- 
garry which Colonel Knox records — and may yet be 
found in Scotland and Ireland as well as in France 
and Germany. I have never met with it. 

The three species of buzzards, also of large size and 
far less active than falcons, are occasionally seen ; the 
honey-buzzard in dense woods. Two specimens of 
the rough-legged buzzard have come under my notice 
in three years, one at Arundel, and the other twenty 
miles west in the extreme south-west angle of Sussex. 
Feathered tarsi mark the species ; one was much 
greyer on the back, and altogether lighter-coloured 
as well as smaller than the other, killed in October, 

'/ /a * 

Fig- 55- — Pair of Kestrels (Falco Hnnunculus). 

the setting on than those of true falcons, but make 
up for this by greater depth — bristles and feathers at 
the base somewhat hide this part, but a side view 
reveals the true proportions. The harriers I have 
seen were chiefly obtained from uninhabited marshes 
of the shore line. The males of two species, at least, 
turn to a bluish grey, with much white underneath 
and in front. I have seen one such example, and 
heard of two ; but in England this condition is now 
very rare. The goshawk formerly used for hawking 
in wooded places is still, it is said, much employed 
in India and China, &c. This large bird appears to 
have breast traverses, with dark brown back, &c. It 


Fig. 56. — The Buzzard (Butco vulgaris). 

1876. The latter measured twenty-four inches, 

was dark brown upon a lighter shade, giving 

large dark splashings on back and wings ; tail 

whole brown, except at the sides towards the 

base ; wings length of tail ; head and neck 

showed lighter vertical streakings, and the breast 

more ; dark upon a light reddish dove ground ; 

much vulture-hocked, with light brown feathers 

having fine dark streaks, legs closely feathered, with 

the same pattern ; beak and claws large, dark brown 


The common buzzard, it is stated, is rarer than 
the others. The Rev. H. D. Gordon, of Harting, 
has recently published a most interesting history of 
that neighbourhood, associated with many historical 
events, and Mr. Weaver, a resident gentleman, has 
added a very complete flora and fauna of a wild and 
beautiful district. This informs us that the common 



buzzard is more often seen there than other species. 
Several specimens killed at that spot, within a score 
or two of years, are powerful, ragged, savage-looking 
birds, with broken, grey and white plumage, and 
tails considerably longer than the wings ; no two 
"were alike. The long forked-tailed kite has dis- 
appeared from the South of England, to the great 
satisfaction of all concerned in rearing young poultry, 
game, or pigs ; these never being safe when once 
discovered by that audacious thief. 

M. O. H. 


WILL you allow me to describe my method of 
mounting and preserving the forms of the 
various moth and butterfly larvre ? What I have to 
say may perhaps be a help to some ; or induce others 
who know a better plan to communicate it in return. 
For the last three or four years I have been 
working out my own in my leisure hours ; and, con- 
sidering that I have been totally unaided, I think I 
may say that I have been tolerably successful. After 
seeing Lord Walsingham's fine collection of mounted 
larvse at the Entomological Show held in the Royal 
Aquarium last March, I made up my mind to write to 
Science-Gossip on the subject. For I have long 
felt that our collections would be greatly increased 
in value and attractiveness by the addition of a nicely- 
mounted larva to each specimen of the perfect insect. 
The apparatus required is very simple, consisting only 
of a glass retort holding about about a quart, a foot 
length of india-rubber tubing about the size used for 
babies' bottles, a small piece of glass piping, and some 
dry straws of different sizes. Into one end of the 
india-rubber tubing fit a portion of glass pipe so as to 
make a mouthpiece : this we will call our blow-pipe. 
Then secure a well-grown caterpillar ; which must be 
at least a week off the stage of becoming a pupa, for 
when that change is about to take place an amount of 
white fatty matter adheres to the skin, which it is 
almost impossible to get rid of, and which, if left 
there, spoils the preparation. Place this larva in a 
box and some chloroform or benzole with it ; but 
take care neither of them touch it ; having first 
covered the inside of the box with blotting-paper all 
round to absorb any of the dark green matter which 
often exudes from the mouth of larva; when irritated 
or alarmed. When the grub is quite dead and slightly 
relaxed, take it out of the box and place it upon a 
sheet of blotting-paper, and gently pass a roller, made 
of a common pencil covered with blotting-paper, 
down from the head to the tail. By this means the 
entire contents of the creature may be expelled per 
anum without any damage to the skin. Next select 
a straw about the size of the opening through which 
the contents were discharged, and pass it into the 

body a short distance, and there fix it. This may be 
done by passing two small pins at right angles to 
each other through the extremity of the tail of the 
larva and the inserted straw, and then adding a little 
gum or glue round the skin of the caterpillar where 
it touches the straw on the outside which will make 
the whole air-tight. Now that you have your cater- 
pillar fairly fastened on one end of the straw, pass 
the other end into the india-rubber extremity of your 
blow-pipe, and fix it there by a slight ligature. Put- 
ting the glass end to your mouth, blow gently into it, 
and you will inflate your larva, which will at once 
assume its natural shape, provided only it is not dis- 
tended too much. Then light your Bunsen burner, 
and having moderately heated the retort, hold the 
larva thus inflated in the hot air of the retort till it is 
perfectly dry. Especial care must be taken that it is 
neither over-heated nor imperfectly dried, or before 
long the skin will become wrinkled or pitted. Now 
clip your pins off close to the straw and cut away the 
straw at the end of the caterpillar's tail : and your 
work is done. And if you have gone through all 
these stages carefully, it will be done very satisfactorily 
too, for the larva will be found to have lost little or 
no colour and to be in a very natural position. There 
is no need to trouble oneself at all on this last point, 
for each will assume that which is most natural in its 
own state of rest. The greatest difficulty I have 
experienced has been the preservation of the colour 
in the case of the light green ones, and I believe it to 
be impossible without the aid of some colouring 
matter or dye. For their colour is not in the skin, as 
appears from the fact that, as soon as they cleared 
out by our roller, the skin is no longer green but of a 
whitish hue. It had always been a great object with 
me to preserve their colour, and I looked upon its 
reproduction by means of paints as an illegitimate 
process, but I have been at last compelled to think it 

In the case of hairy sorts the utmost care is required 
to avoid destroying the hairs. But provided the 
grub is not too near casting its skin you may 
generally manage this by proper precaution. 

I now think I have stated all that is necessary to. 
the perfect carrying-out of my process. 

I may, however, mention in conclusion one other 
way of securing the colours of the light green speci- 
mens ; and that is by filling the emptied skins with 
strong alcohol coloured by dyes. The alcohol hardens 
the skin and colours it from the inside, which is more 
natural than if the colour were laid on externally. 

William Brewster. 

Natural History Clubs. — If any of your readers 
should have experience in connection with village 
Natural History clubs, or Botanical clubs, they would 
confer a benefit upon certain persons desirous to form 
such a club if they would kindly send a brief state- 
ment of the most advisable method of conducting 
them to W. L. B., The Rectory, Pulborough, Sussex^ 



THE POLECAT (Mustek putorius). 

ONE morning during the past summer, I was 
taking a stroll before breakfast, when, going 
down a "shady lane," I was amused by one of our 
sturdy villagers shouting out as loud as his famous 
lungs would permit him. " A fitchett," " a fitchett," 
" a fitchett just gone down the marsh." Thought I, 
what can the man mean ? Acting upon the thought, I 
stopped him to inquire, when. I was roughly answered, 
"A fitchett dunno' ye know ; well, then, I canna' tell 
ye." Of course, all this was excused, for my friend 
was quite wild with excitement. Scarcely knowing 
for the moment what to do, I did what I conceived 
to be the best, joined in the eager pursuit, along with 
a score of lads and men, as fast as our legs could 
carry us. At length panting, and out of breath, I 
jumped with the rest over a five-barred gate, and 
entered a meadow to find my fellow villagers pursuing 

V7 s*& 
Fig. 57. — Polecat (Muste'.a putorius). 

a dark looking animal along a thick edge. Before 
proceeding further in my description of this Cheshire 
hunt (you know we are noted for hunting in the 
cheese-making country), permit me to add by way of 
excusing my conduct, in joining in the chase, that I 
was really anxious to know what a fitchett was. It 
might be a large animal, just escaped from a strolling 
menagerie, so it was important that the village should 
be speedily free from its presence. 

However, I at length caught a glimpse of this 
intruder on the peace of our quiet village. It was a 
long and elegantly shaped animal, of a rich black 
colour along the back. The chase continued with 
considerable excitement for almost half an hour. The 
animal had the advantage over its opponents, by being 
sheltered with the thick hedge bottom— it dodged 
first to one side, then to the other, until it was 
evidently weary ; then making a spring for liberty 

and life, it was most humiliatingly held fast with a 
large shovel tightly laid over its loins. The next 
question was, should it be at once killed or preserved 
alive ? The majority voted for a kind treatment, so a 
boy was despatched to the nearest farmhouse for a bag, 
in which to carry it safely. To make a long story 
short, we soon had our captive in a large barrel, 
where it was kept for a few weeks, until it was pur- 
chased by an exhibitor. 

I learned what I wished to know when I ' leg or 
nothing ' joined heartily in the hunt. The fitchett was 
a polecat, an animal not at all common in this county, 
and I gained my knowledge, not by hearsay evidence, 
but by my olfactory nerves, for no sooner was the 
captive held tightly under the labourer's spade than 
we were regaled by a most horrible stench. Talk 
about bone-works in active operation, it is a pleasant 
perfume when compared to the polecat ! Another 
point was learned. The habits of this animal in 
captivity were so similar to the ferret that I 
have now no doubts the latter animal is a 
domesticated polecat. Of course, by con- 
tinued breeding in-and-in, to use a live-stock 
phrase, it is now weakened, as well as puny, 
compared with its original parents from the 
"wild wood." 

I account for the common or local name 
"fitchett" from the fact that the long shining 
hairs are used to manufacture the brushes 
used by artists,^ under the name of fitch, or 
fitchet ; we thus perceive the name is not far- 
fetched. The colour of the polecat is a 
deep blackish-brown ; the head, tail, and 
feet almost black ; the under parts yellowish, 
the ears are edged with white, with a whitish 
space round the muzzle. The hair is of two 
kinds, — a short woolly fur which is pale 
yellow, or somewhat tawny, and long shining 
hairs of a rich black, or a brownish-black 
colour, which are most numerous on the 
darkest parts. 
For the unpleasant odour exuded from the animal, 
we find a pouch, or follicle just under the tail, which 
emits a yellowish, cream-like substance, of a very fetid 
odour ; this is particularly strong when the polecat is 
excited or irritated. It is an active little animal, 
scarcely ever idle, and never still, except when it is 
asleep, and it is one of the best friends a farmer can 
have about his premises, if he can keep it away from 
the hen-roost, for it is very partial to poultry, and 
commits great destruction if the game is plentiful. 
It destroys the latter solely for the brains and blood, 
for the birds are never torn or mangled. It is how- 
ever, indefatigable in its pursuit of rats, and its 
presence in the rickyard is quite sufficient to drive 
away all the vermin. 

Another local name for the polecat is te foumart" 
by many supposed to be a corruption of foul marten, 
in allusion to the odour it leaves behind. From its 



long, agile body and bushy tail, it bears a close re- 
semblance to the weasel and stoat ; thus it is some- 
times referred to the same genus. 

It also has the same pugnacious disposition as the 
weasel, for we have a record from Delamere Forest 
of a fierce encounter betwixt a female and a game- 
keeper. It appears the man had taken its young to 
destroy them, when the mother came too quickly on 
the scene, and attacked the keeper. The fight con- 
tinued nearly an hour : the polecat came off victorious, 
for it escaped with its young, but the man was led 
home blinded, and with his features lacerated in a 
dreadful manner. Our hunt ended 
far more happily, for we secured 
the poor " fitchettj\ which has 
furnished us with the text of the 
present narrative. 


process of fertilisation ; but it was difficult to see 
how this could be so, and moreover the great di- 
versity of form in the irregularities seemed to nega- 
tive such a supposition. On a closer examination, 
however, and on sketching the stamens, I am inclined 
to think that this is a case of abortion accompanied 
by an extra formation in consequence of such abor- 
tion ; that is to say, that the anther being in many 
cases absent or imperfect, the energy of the stamen, 
diverted from its usual object, has spent itself instead 
in this unusual manner. To this conclusion I have 
been led by observing that the extent of the malfor- 




w_) CANA belongs to the 
Tiliaceae, or Lime-tree order, this 
genus being a native of Southern 
Africa. It grows there as a small 
shrub, one foot or eighteen inches 
high, with coarsely serrate, downy, 
heart-shaped leaves, and umbels 
of handsome white blossoms. 
Each flower consists of an inferior 
polysepalous calyx of four white 
silky sepals, a hypogynous poly- 
petalous corolla of four . white 
petals, numerous hypogynous red 
and yellow stamens, forming a 
globular bunch, in the midst of 
which is the style, rising from a 
superior many-celled pistil. The 
carpels are studded with tuber- 
culated hairs, very much like the 
glandular hairs of the stinging 
nettle, but without the curved tip. 
The pedicels exhibit a peculiarity 
which I do not remember to have 
seen elsewhere. About one-third of an inch from 
each flower there is a joint, not very conspicuous, 
but still easily seen, where the flower-stalk gives 
way on being pulled. 

But the stamens form the most interesting part of 
the plant. I have figured a few in order to convey 
a better idea of their structure, by which it will be 
seen that their filaments are more or less enlarged by 
growths which sometimes take very fantastic shapes. 
Puzzled at first to know what could be the use of 
these formations, I not unnaturally expected to find 
that they were in some way connected with the 

Fig- 58. — Flowers of S/ar»ianm'a Africana (natural size\ 

mations varies in the different stamens just in propor- 
tion, roughly speaking, to the abortion of the anther ;. 
and also that the outgrowths are largest at the end 
of the stamen where the anther would have been, 
and diminish in the other direction. That this is 
the case will appear from the specimens figured, 
which are fair examples of the rest. The antheriferous 
stamens occupy by far the larger portion of the group, 
being found in the centre around the style ; while the 
abortive stamens are found towards the edge of the 
group, forming a ring around the others. The latter 
are comparatively short and are entirely yellow, while 



the former are longer and bright red for the upper 
two-thirds of their length ; the two kinds merging 
gradually into one another. This position of the 
abortive stamens is just that in which they would be 
of least use to the pistil even if they had anthers, 

A Novel Air-pump for removing Air Bubbles 
in Slides. — A is a frame made of wood or metal ; B 
is an india-rubber pipe ; C is a valve made^ by 
closing one end of a piece of glass tube, and then 
drilling a small hole as shown in D, then slipping 

Fig. 59. — Stamens of Spartnannia Africana (magnified 15 diameters). 

supposing the flower to be self-fertilising ; while it is 
also here that the stamens would be most likely to 
undergo metamorphosis into petals. 

As one might expect a flower with so many stamens 
to have a tendency to become double, it would be 
interesting to know what would be the effect of 
cultivation, and whether the malformation would 
advance inwards as the outer stamens were converted 
into petals. It may be that instead of becoming 
petals, the outer stamens would produce still more 
extraordinary forms. 

I am indebted for the specimen I have figured to 
J. W. Morris, Esq., of Bath. 

New-Ki7igswood, Bath. John W. Buck. 


Cavities in Quartz.— The observations made 
upon the liquid-cavities in the quartz-bearing rocks 
of the Lake District were made from thin slices of 
the rocks prepared for me by Mr. Cuttell, under the 
superintendence of Mr. Jordan, of the Museum, 
Jermyn Street. Mr. Jordan has invented a special 
form of machine for the purpose. I would refer readers 
of Science-Gossip to my paper in the "Quarterly 
Journal of the Geological Society," vol. xxxi. p. 568, 
1875. — J. Clifton Ward. 

over it a small piece of india-rubber tubing as showro 
at C. The top of frame A should be made perfectly 
true, and then coated with tallow and a piece of glass- 

Fig. 60. — Air-pump for removing air-bubbles. 

laid upon it. The air is exhausted with the mouth 
at C. I find with this handy little instrument I 
can get sufficient vacuum to remove any air bubbles 
that might have formed in my slide. Mr. Atkins, 
of 200 Essex Road, Islington, made my instrument, 
and I think he is now making them for sale. — 
A. Smith. 

How tq remove Canada Balsam from Slides. 
— I know that microscopists sometimes find it difficult 
to remove Canada balsam from old slides, or un- 
successfully mounted ones. I have always found the 
following plan a very good one : Place the slides in 



Fig. 61. — The Hofmann Camera 

an oven for two or three days, the Canada Balsam 
will then easily chip off with a knife, then wash them 
in soda water. — S. C. Hinchs. 

New Forms of Camera Lucida. — In the 
December number of the "Bulletin de la Societe 
Beige de Microscopie," Dr. Henry van Heurck 
describes a new form of camera lucida, invented by 
D. T. Hofmann (29 Rue Bernard, Paris), the well- 
known optician. This camera lucida not only shows 
the pencil with great distinctness, but every detail of 
the image. Every one who uses the camera lucida is 
annoyed at the uncertainty that accompanies the 
ordinary apparatus, particularly when it is necessary 
to reproduce delicate details, as, for example, the 
markings on diatoms. With this new instrument 
these fatiguing adjustments are avoided, and we feel 
■ sure that it will be cordially welcomed by the micro- 
grapher. The construction of the Hofmann camera 
lucida will be under- 
stood by the sub- 
joined diagram. It 
will be seen that it 
consists of c, a com- 
bination of lenses. 
The image is received 
by a silvered glass, 
a, and is reflected 
upon the second 
glass, b. « is a small aperture, through which not 
only the image in the mirror can be seen, but also 
the pencil and paper, d are two very slightly convex 
lenses, which may be used together or separately; 
they serve the same purpose as those on the ordi- 
nary forms of camera lucida. The Hofmann camera 
lucida is really a "camera lucida ocular," the in- 
ventor intending it to replace the ordinary ocular. — 
F. Kitton. 

Journal of the Royal Microscopical Society. 
— Some twelve months since the Society was informed 
by the publishers of the "Monthly Microscopical 
Journal" that in consequence of that work not being 
, a pecuniary success, the arrangement existing between 
them must terminate. The Society thereupon de- 
termined to follow the example of other societies and 
publish their own Transactions. In accordance with 
this resolution, the first part made its appearance in 
March, 1878, a part being published every alternate 
month. We have now before us the first volume and 
part i. of the second. Volume i. contains 402 pp. 
of letter-press, 1 7 plates and many woodcuts. The 
names of the contributors of original papers guarantee 
their value. 

The following gentlemen have already sent papers : 
H. Sorby, F.R.S., &c. (Presidential Address) ; Carl 
Zeiss, Jena; Adolph Schulze, Glasgow ; J. W. Stephen- 
son, F.R.A.S. ; G. G. Stokes, M.A., D.C.L. Oxon., 
LL.D. Dublin, &c. ; Professor R. Keith ; F. H. 
Ward, M.R.C.S. ; F. H. Wenham, F.R.M.S. ; F. 

Crisp, LL.B., B.A. &c. ; Professor Owen, F.R.S- 
&c. ; Dr. R. Pigott, M.A., F.R.S. &c. ; H. J. Slack, 
F.G.S. ; Dr. H. D. Schmidt, New Orleans, La.; 
M. P. Petit, Paris ; Rev. W. H. Dallinger. 

Amongst the important original articles we would 
especially direct attention to the following, ' ' On the 
Measurement of the Flagella of Bacterium, a Con- 
tribution to the Question of the Ultimate Limit of 
Vision," by the Rev. W. H. Dallinger (2 plates). It 
has been asserted that any object whose dimensions 
were less than a half- wave length of white light, was 
incapable of being seen, however much our objectives 
were improved in their revolution or definition. In 
fact, that light was too coarse a medium for objects 
less than m hi mcn m breadth, that being the length 
of half a wave of white light ; supposing the blue 
rays were used, the dimensions might be reduced to 
about the m ' 6 Q inch without becoming invisible. 

The Rev. W. H. Dallinger, with the careful manipu- 
lation for which he is so justly celebrated, has not only 
been able to see the flagella on Bacterium termo, but 
has succeeded in accurately measuring their diameters, 
and he finds that the mean of two hundred measure- 
ments is nearly jj-^ro inch, being much less than 
a quarter -wave length of white light. Mr. Slack, 
F.G.S. , the present president, communicates some 
interesting observations " On the visibility and optical 
aspects of Hairs viewed from a distance." He 
finds that a hair j§^ inch in diameter when stretched 
on a pane of plate glass and viewed against a white 
sky, was seen by several persons at a distance of thirty- 
four feet, and under special conditions at a much greater 
distance. In the February number Dr. Royston 
Pigott, M.A., F.R.S. &c, has a learned and valuable 
paper on a similar subject, viz., " The Limits of 
Microscopic Vision." In this paper he very much 
increases the limits of visibility, but we must refer our 
readers to the paper itself, our space only permitting 
this brief notice of it. Professor Owen in his article on 
the microscopic structure of the fossils called "grani- 
cones" (2 plates), shows with great probability that these 
bodies are the dermal scutes of some Lacertian reptile 
resembling the recent Moloch horridus of Australia. 
Associated with these remains are the bones of mar- 
supials. The "granicones" occur in the "Feather- 
bed " stratum, Middle Purbeck, Dorsetshire. Those 
interested in the study of the Diatomacea; will read 
with pleasure M. P. Petit's description of new diatoms 
from New Zealand and Campbell Island (translated 
by permission of the author, with notes by F. Kitton). 
It is illustrated with two plates of figures. The notes 
and memoranda form an important part of each number. 
They are selected (and where necessary translated) 
from the current literature, English and foreign ; the 
ordinary microscopist is therefore kept "posted up" 
in the most recent labour of foreign observers. In 
the bibliographical division we have first a list of 
microscopical works recently published (English and 
foreign) ; second, an index to the contents of the various 



scientific serials, English, French, German, and Ameri- 
can, in so far as they relate to microscopical matters ; 
as this division occupies eight closely-printed pages, 
our readers well understand that it contains no ordinary 
amount of information. The editorship has been 
undertaken (as an honorary office) by one of the 
secretaries, Frank Crisp, LL.B., B.A. &c. 


The Weather and the Birds.— Under the 
above heading, a paragraph appeared in Science- 
Gossip for February (p. 40), in which it is stated that 
a golden eagle was shot at Fritton, and another seen 
at the same time which escaped. The bird in question 
was wounded and taken alive, and is now in the 
Yarmouth aquarium, where I saw it a short time since. 
It certainly is not a golden, but an immature white- 
tailed eagle. Individuals in the same stage of plumage 
occur along the east coast almost every autumn or 
early winter, and are as invariably recorded as golden 
eagles. The only authentic instance of the occurrence 
of the latter species is that recorded by Mr. Stevenson 
in the "Zoologist" for 1869, but the white-tailed 
eagle, as before stated, although in the mature 
plumage excessively rare, is in the immature dress by 
no means a rarity. In order to distinguish between 
the two species in any stage of plumage, it is only 
necessary to remember that the tarsi in the golden 
eagle are feathered to the toes, and the first joint 
only of each toe is covered with broad scales, whereas 
in the white-tailed eagle the whole length of each 
toe is covered with broad scales and the tarsi are bare. 
— T. Southwell, Norivich. 

Killing and Preserving Reptiles.— In reply 
to Mr. Alfred Wheldon's inquiry, I beg to say that 
the best way to kill a small reptilian or batrachian is 
to put the animal into a phial which is of just suffi- 
cient size, together with a piece of folded blotting- 
paper, saturated with chloroform, and then place the 
bottle for a few minutes out of the sight of ladies 
and children. Death will speedily result from 
asphyxia. The specimen should then be preserved 
in methylated spirit, which may be diluted to the 
extent of, say, 25 per cent, with water. The addition 
of the water will very likely make the liquid thick 
with air-bubbles, but these will disappear in a few 
hours. The most convenient and inexpensive bottles 
are "boxwood-topped kali bottles," or, for rather 
larger specimens, "one pound wide-mouthed stoppered 
rounds." Both may be obtained of Messrs. S. Maw, 
Son, & Thompson, 10, II, and 12 Aldersgate Street, 
E.C., or through any obliging chemist. It is not 
usually necessary to secure the specimen with a 
thread. Lizards and newts should be preserved head 
downwards. — R. Morton Middkton, Jim. 

The Nightingale in Yorkshire, — As Mr. 
Ingleby has indicated the nidification of the nightin- 

gale, Philomela Luscinia having taken place in 
Yorkshire, the following facts may prove interesting 
both to him and other readers of Science-Gossip. 
In the summer of 1877, a pair of nightingales built 
their nest in the shrubbery of a gentleman residing 
near Beverley. Of course the occurrence attracted 
considerable attention, and it was freely discussed in 
the local papers. I am glad to say, however, that, 
notwithstanding the general publicity thus given to 
this remarkable fact, the young were hatched and 
reared without any further disturbance than that 
occasioned by the pardonable curiosity of onlookers. 
In this they seem to have been more fortunate than 
the pair described by Mr. Ingleby. I may add that 
no further instance of this kind has occurred since in 
the neighbourhood, and indeed had not done so for 
some time previously. — Major Lawson. 

Glyciphagus plumiger. — When I announced, 
the capture of this acarus in the July number, I had 
only found one specimen ; subsequent search, how- 
ever, enabled me to find many more of both sexes. 
I scarcely thought this worth mentioning, but as 
my silence may have misled Mr. Lambert, it is ■ 
perhaps as well to do so. For the purposes of obser- 
vation, I endeavoured to breed them in confinement, 
and have been fairly successful. I have several 
thriving families at this moment. I may take this 
opportunity of stating that although, when I first 
announced the capture in England of the kindred 
species, Glyciphagus palmifer, I doubted its being 
truly indigenous, I believe now that it is, as I have 
since found it where its introduction on any foreign 
material would be highly improbable. — A. D. Michael. 

Division of the Pteropoda. — At a recent 
meeting of the San Francisco Microscopical Society, 
Dr. G. Eisen stated that the class of Pteropoda had 
hitherto been divided in two orders, viz., Thecosomata 
and Gymnosomata, the animals belonging to the 
former being covered by a hard shell, those of the 
latter being perfectly naked. He thought a better 
characteristic would be the presence or absence of a 
silicate radula in the palate. The two genera ex- 
hibited were very likely new, but seemingly related 
to Tiedemannia and Pneumodermon. The wings of 
the former genus were drawn more minutely, and 
especially their anterior margin was seen in a highly 
magnified scale. The author had here found some 
new organs of sense, consisting of an agglomeration 
of larger cells situated on a pear-shaped body of 
minute granulated cells. In the middle of the larger 
cells was to be seen a small opaque, pearl-shaped body 
immediately connected with a nerve ganglion. Such 
peculiar organs were distributed over only a small 
surface of the hyaline wing. The masticatory organs 
of this genus were situated in the stomach, and con- 
sisted chiefly of four pyramidal chitinous teeth. The 
same organ of Pneumodermon was seen to consist of 
a radula full of silicate teeth. On both sides of this 

6 4 


radula, and also in fiont of the same, were large 
round, or triangular bodies, covered with chitinous 
teeth, between which the food apparently was ground 
before entering between the teeth of the more delicate 
xadula. The animals of both genera being her- 
maphrodites, their male and female generative organs 
were found to be connected in the same individual. 
In both genera they seemed to resemble each other to 
some extent, but, as could be seen by the drawings, 
-those of Pneumodermon were the most complicated, 
as having near to the exterior porus an additional 
large prostate gland. 

Birds in North Wales. — It may be interesting 
to naturalists to know that several species of birds, 
which I believe to be uncommon, have been shot up 
the estuary of the river Mawddack, at Barmouth, 
during the winter, viz., shoveller {A. clypeata) ; golden 
eye (A. clanguld) ; red breasted merganser (Mergus 
serrator), chough, &c. I should like to call the 
attention of your readers to a rather striking incident 
which came under my notice on Saturday, January II, 
whilst walking past Aberamffra Harbour. Between 
twenty to thirty wrens {Troglodytes Europeans) flew 
from the rigging of the "Mary Jones" (a small 
schooner) to the branch of an oak-tree close by. There 
they remained for some time, until the approach of 
evening compelled them to seek shelter elsewhere. 
Will any of your readers kindly tell whether this 
is a common occurrence or not ? — Joseph J. Cotton, 


The Cultivation of Mistletoe.— As an old 
and successful grower of mistletoe, I would inform 
Mr. Bonar that its seeds vary, commonly contain 
two, and sometimes three embryos. It would have 
been found, long ago, that nothing is easier than to 
cultivate this plant, had not two erroneous statements 
been circulated in books, viz. : (i) that the berry, not 
the seed must be rubbed on the branch destined for 
its growth ; and (2) that a tioteh is to be made in the 
bark to receive it. Take the seed out of the berry, 
and smear it on a smooth part of the bark, and it will 
adhere and grow. Where the radicle comes into 
contact with the bark, the latter swells. No further 
change occurs till the next year, when the tiny plants 
rise on end, open their cotyledons, and emit a minute 
shoot. They grow the length of one internode, 
annually ; so that the age of a bough of mistletoe is 
readily known. — Martin M. Bull, Jersey. 

Symphytum tuberosum, near Edinburgh. — 
May I venture to point out a mistake into which 
Mr. King has fallen, when he says with regard to 
*S'. tuberosum, "a somewhat local plant in the neigh- 
bourhood of Edinburgh," a larger acquaintance with 
our flora will convince him that, instead of being 
"local," it is exceedingly common in the neighbour- 

hood. It is very abundant on both banks of the 
Braid Burn, and also on the banks of the Water of 
Leith through many miles of its course. On the 
other hand, S. officinale is certainly "beal" in this 
part of Scotland, its place being filled up by S. 
tuberosum. I have not had so much field work in the 
south, as in the north, but, while in England I have 
been struck by the absence of what with us is a 
" common plant." For one station for " officinale " I 
can give twenty for " tuberosum." — A. Craig- Christie. 

Plurality of Petals in the Genus Ranun- 
culus.— I have repeatedly found, not only Ranun- 
culus Ficaria, as Mr. J. A. Weldon mentions it in the 
last number of Science-Gossip, but also R. bulbosus 
and acris with more petals than they should have, 
owing to a certain number of stamens having turned 
into that state. Several times have I looked in 
meadows, where R. bulbosus and acris grow abun- 
dantly, and found specimens with from five, six, seven 
and so on, up to twenty. This is generally the case 
when the ground is of good quality. I have also met 
R. Jlatnmula reptans and sccleratus with more than 
their usual number of petals, six or seven for instance. 
Once I met a specimen of R. confusus with six petals. 
— T. Temper e, Manchester. 


Fossil Reptiles related to Mammals. — There 
has lately been disclosed a large series of remains of 
American reptiles which appear to have been ex- 
tremely abundant during the Permian age over the 
whole continent. This was one of the most remark- 
able faunas known in the history of the earth — 
distinct from what went before and what followed it. 
The structure of all the species is very complicated, 
but all agree in certain characters. The scapular 
arch, by the presence of an epicoracoid and certain 
other bones, forms a circle like the pelvis ; and this 
gives significance to the name Pelicosauria, which 
Professor Cope proposed to give to the group. The 
specialised shape of the tarsus, the perforated ver- 
tebrae surmounted by tall knotted spines, and various 
other anatomical features have been dwelt upon at 
length by him. A series of skeletons of very similar 
structure have been discovered in the Permian beds 
of South Africa ; but they differ from all American 
examples in their long sacrums, and in not having 
the vertebrae perforated. Owen had called these 
fossils therodonts, intending that the name should 
cover the American permian reptiles as well : but 
this Professor Cope considers impossible, since the 
American fossils are of a type distinct from the 
African. The two types together form an order of 
very high rank in the classification of vertebrates, 
which presents the nearest approach of any group of 
reptiles to the mammalia. Hence Professor Cope 
has designated, them theromorphous. The presence 



of the epicoracoid bone, the as innominatutn and the 
form of the tarsus and humerus, all show the remark- 
able affinity of these reptiles to the Monotremata, and 
convinced Professor Cope that they ought to be con- 1 
sidered the ancestors of the mammals. Yet there is 
no question but that they should be classed on the 
reptilian side of the dividing line. 

Preserving Bones. — In answer to your corres- 
pondent, " W. G.," I beg to state that a very simple 
method of preserving post-tertiary bones, is to paint 
them with thin gum, which should be as clear and 
colourless as possible. This is an easy and inexpensive, 
and, as I know from experience, an effectual way of 
preserving them. It makes them very strong, and 
enables them to bear any reasonable amount of 
handling. The gum must be thin, or it will give the 
bones a shiny, varnished appearance. All fossils 
which are liable to crumble and fall to pieces, maybe 
preserved in the same way. — J. W. Carr, Cambridge. 

New Carnivorous Reptiles. — Professor Owen 
has just identified the remains of a new and gigantic 
kind of carnivorous reptile among the collection of 
South African fossils collected by Mr. T. Bain. The 
name of Titanosanriis ferox has been given to this 
creature, which Professor Owen regards as of a more 
carnassial type than any existing carnivorous mammal. 

The Geology of Arran. — At a meeting of the 
Glasgow Geological Society on January 16, James 
Thomson, F.G.S., read a paper on the " Geology of the 
North End of Arran." He first gave a description of 
the brecciated conglomerate of the Carriegills shore, 
and round Brodick Bay, extending eastwards to the 
shore below Masldon, pointing out that the views ad- 
vanced by Sedgwick, Murchison, Ramsay, and Bryce, 
could, as regards these rocks, no longer be adhered to. 
He showed that the basement rocks of the carboniferous 
system rested upon the underlying breccias, and 
referred to sections exposed in Glencoly, Glensharg, 
and Cnocken Burn, &c, where the order of succession 
of these beds may be studied, and stated that beds of 
the same stratigraphical position could be examined in 
the following localities, viz. : Askoig, Bute ; Millport, 
Cumbrae ; the valley of the Griom ; the Garple and 
Greenock waters, Muirkirk, Ayrshire ; Logan Water, 
Lesmahagow ; Lanarkshire ; and Todholes, near Stir- 
ling, Stirlingshire. He then described the stratified 
rocks of the shore eastwards to Corrie, and referred to 
the limestone of that locality being charged with 
Productus giganteus and found with the ventral 
valve downwards, the reverse being the case in other 
localities for this fossil shell. 

Mr. Thomson then reviewed the old red sandstone 
beds from Corrie to the Fallen Rocks, and described 
the nature of the fragments of rocks found in the 
breccias, near Corrie, which all were agreed was of un- 
doubted upper old red sandstone age, and referred to the 
similarity of these beds to those found on the Corriegills 
shore. He referred to the desirability of further in- 

vestigation of the Fallen Rocks before a satisfactory 
explanation of that extraordinary mass could be given. 
About fifty yards to the north of the Fallen Rocks 
he had some years ago discovered remains of fossil 
fish in great abundance in volcanic ash beds, and there 
also, in company with Sir Charles Lyell, discovered 
a tooth of Cladodus. The coast line was [next traced 
to the section where Mr. E. A. Wimsch, F.G.S., 
made his discovery of fossil trees in the volcanic ash 
beds, and described in the Society's " Transactions." 
Proceeding northwards, a great fault is seen, produced 
by a broad igneous dyke, which can be traced up the 
hillside to the chasms seen in the breccias, on the top of 
the hill above the Cock of Arran. Mr. Thomson then 
referred to the physical features, and the fossil remains 
of the limestone found on the north-east shore, lists of 
which he had prepared to accompany his communica- 
tion. Mr. Thomson then dwelt on the correlation 
of these marine deposits with the rocks of the same 
stratigraphical position throughout the central valley 
of Scotland. He also referred to the breccias at the 
Cock of Arran, and stated that they resembled those 
he had examined at St. Bees Head, Northumberland, 
and at Ballochmyle, on the banks of the Water of 
Ayr. Mr. Thomson then described his hunt through- 
out the range of rocks in the hills above the shore for 
fossil evidence of their age ; and in these breccias he 
was at last rewarded by the discovery of no less than 
twenty-seven species of characteristic carboniferous 
fossils, a list of which he had prepared to accompany 
his paper. He was thus able definitely to confirm 
the conclusions of Sedgwick, Murchison, and Ramsay, 
as to the age of these rocks, at least to the extent 
that they are posterior to the carboniferous age ; and 
at the same time to show clearly that the classification 
of these rocks adopted by Professor Geikie in his last 
published "Geological Map of Scotland" was er- 
roneous, while the same may be said as to that of 
Professor von Lasaula in his work upon his studies 
and sketches of the Geology of Ireland and Scotland 
lately published. 


Fermentation. — Professor F. R. Eaton Lowe, in 
an article entitled "A Glass of Wine" in " Science 
for All," says, the operations connected with wine- 
making differ from those connected with beer-making 
in so far as it is necessary for the beer-maker to in- 
troduce a ferment into his wort, while the wine-maker 
has not to do this, because the grapes "contain suf- 
ficient nitrogenous matter in the shape of gluten, 
which speedily undergoes decomposition, and com- 
municates its state of change to the associated sugar." 
It is certainly unnecessary for the wine-maker to 
introduce a ferment; but does fermentation take 
place in the way Professor Lowe says ? I am under 
the impression that the wine-maker introduces his 
ferment unconsciously, just as sure as the beer-maker 
introduces his consciously. How does the Professor 
account for the presence in the liquid of the living 



plant concerned in alcoholic fermentation ? I thought 
M. Pasteur proved that the pure juice of the grape 
has no power to ferment of itself ; and when he saw 
this he set to look for the cause of the fermentation, 
and found it in the small microscopic particles which 
stick to the outside of the berries, and even on the 
twigs of the vine. I shall feel greatly obliged to any 
of the readers of Science-Gossip who can tell me 
whether Professor Lowe or M. Pasteur is correct. — 
D. M. D. 

Anemones in Aquaria. — Some of your readers 
may be interested in the following facts. I have 
a small bell glass aquarium which as a marine 
aquarium has been very successful, there having been 
no deaths for upwards of two years, and the anemones 
throughout have maintained a high standard of 
vitality, attributable, I consider, to regular feeding, 
aerations, and scrupulous cleanliness. Numerous 
young have been cast off and one stone is closely 
covered with what are apparently the larval form of 
the star fish. During this winter the anemones have 
been of an unusually errant disposition, and I have 
three times on different occasions observed what 
seem to be conjugations. In each case the first sign 
was the appearance round the base of the animal of 
spermatic cords, and these in some cases reach an 
inch and a half in length. They float in the water 
and that they are perceived by other anemones is 
proved by the animals moving up, and with their 
base partially covering the extended base of the first. 
They remain in this state for about twelve hours, 
the emission of the spermatic cords is increased till 
both are enveloped in the coils and these are per- 
fectly visible, and between thirty and forty in number, 
at least I have counted as many. After some interval 
— about twenty-four hours from the first contact — the 
one that has moved up moves away, each closes and 
remains in a state of quiescence from which they do 
not emerge for some days, no matter how tempted by 
food or aeration. I shall be glad to learn if any of 
your readers have noticed similar occurrences. — 
G. L. B., Denmark Hill. 

Mistletoe on the Pear. — A writer in Science- 
Gossip, page 43, 1877, asks for further evidence that 
the mistletoe grows on the pear. Kittel, in "Bota- 
nisches Taschenbuch" and Dr. F. M. Bechstein, in 
"Forstbotanik," page 679, both state that in Ger- 
many Viscnm album is found on the pear. P.S. — 
Withering, in "British Plants," states that Viscnm 
album occurs on the Pear.-r-y. A. Sandford. 

Mandrake (?) (Science-Gossip, page 166, 1878). 
— Throughout the United States Podophyllum pettatum 
of the natural order Berberidaceae is known as man- 
drake. The fruit, when fully ripe, is sweet and edible, 
and weighs from 1 to 4 oz. — J. A. Sandford. 

Hempseed and Bullfinches. — With reference 
to my letter on the effects of hempseed causing the 
plumage of bullfinches to become black, and which 
was inserted in Science-Gossip of November 1, it 
would appear that under the head of " Cage Birds," 
in a paper contributed to the "Times" of February I, 
Norwich canaries fed on cayenne pepper (a teaspoon- 
ful to one egg) have their plumage under such diet 
changed into a bright metallic flush — which pales at 
every moult. I must confess that if I possessed any 
pet birds, whether bullfinches or canaries, I should 
pause ere I continued giving either hempseed or 
cayenne pepper on the ground of both being too 
stimulating for any lengthened period. It would be 

interesting to know what the opinion may be of 
extensive bird fanciers upon this subject. — John 

Hyalophora Cecropia at Clapham. — In 
Science-Gossip, at page 46, Jas. Ives records the 
capture last July of a specimen of Hyalophora Cecropia 
at Clapham. He adds the rather extraordinary query,, 
"Is it not likely to have escaped from some entomo- 
logical cabinet ?" Live insects are not usually placed 
in cabinets, nor do pinned and probably dead ones 
generally escape. The explanation, however, is very 
simple. Mr. A. Wailly, an importer and dealer in 
silk-producing bombyces of the Clapham Road, 
records in the "Entomologist," vol. xii. p. 9, that in 
December, 1877, he received from America an ex- 
traordinary number of live cocoons of this moth, and 
that a number of impregnated females which had 
emerged therefrom, he let loose in his garden. Some 
were also taken to a wood near London. — W. L. 

Curious Sites for Birds' Nests. — From time 
to time, notices of birds' nests being found in strange 
and unlooked-for situations, have appeared in 
Science-Gossip. In the belief that a number of 
instances which have come under my own observation 
during my experience as a " birds'-nester," may not 
be uninteresting, I have been induced to write a 
short account of a few of the more remarkable 
deviations from the ordinary rules followed by most 
species of birds in their choice of a nesting-place, and 
which I have jotted down in my note-book whenever 
observed. Several years ago, I found a nest of the 
common thrush, on the ground, in a large clover- 
field, quite a hundred yards from the nearest fence. 
The nest was merely an apology for one, being but a 
few straws, collected together in a slight depression 
of the ground, without any attempt at lining, indeed 
I have seen plenty of lapwings' nests with far more 
materials collected about them. It was partially 
concealed by the young clover, which was about six 
inches high, but otherwise there was nothing to 
screen it from view. My attention was first drawn to 
the nest — which contained five eggs — by seeing the 
old bird fly off. I watched the nest closely, until the 
eggs were hatched, and the young ones nearly 
fledged ; but one morning, I found that some 
prowling weasel or hedgehog had discovered and 
made a dainty breakfast of the unfortunate ' ' throstles " 
as the mangled bodies of two, and the scattered 
feathers of the rest, plainly showed. This is the 
only instance I have noticed of a thrush nesting on 
the bare ground, away from any cover. Another 
thrush's nest was in an old milking-can which had 
been kicked about by the school lads, and finally 
lodged in a large thorn bush, about two yards from 
a much-frequented footpath, close by the village 
church. I chanced to throw a stone at the can 
when, greatly to my surprise, out flew a thrush. I 
lost little time in jumping over the fence, and found 
the nest snugly ensconced within the can, the mouth 
of which, being turned away from the path, pre- 
vented the nest from being seen by any of the numerous 
passers-by, and, as I only divulged the secret to a 
few trusted friends, I am pleased to say the mother 
bird safely reared her brood. I have found a nest of 
the blackbird on the branch of a tree quite thirty feet 
from the ground, and several nests of" missel-thrush 
on the shelves of an old shed once used for the 
manufacture of drain pipes. I have also seen a nest 
of this species built on one of the stone walls used as 
fences in moorland districts. As in this case there 
were neither trees nor bushes within a considerable 
distance, I suppose the birds had ' been obliged to 



adapt themselves to circumstances. Last year I 
found two robins' nests on the top of a large haystack, 
but they were destroyed by the stack being cut for 
sale. A pair of robins have, for several years, built 
their nest in the end of a pipe, formerly used to a 
stove in our schoolroom, flying in at either an open 
window, or a broken pane, and have generally 
succeeded in rearing their young. The partiality of 
the robin for curious nesting-places is well known, 
but it is surpassed in eccentricity by some members 
of the tit tribe, which seem to have a fancy for 
"camping" in the most unlikely and outlandish 
places ; one hears of their nests being found in such 
places as the hat of an effigy, got up as a scarecrow ; in 
a pump ; in a flower pot ; in a bottle ; or in a box 
hung up against a wall, and I have myself found them 
in all these strange situations. One day, when crossing 
the orchard, I was rather startled at seeing a bird fly 
from between my legs, apparently out of the ground, 
and upon close search amongst the herbage, I found 
what seemed to be a mouse-hole. Procuring a spade 
I soon solved the mystery ; a nest of the great tit, 
containing eight callow young, was built amidst the 
ruins of what had the year before been a wasp's nest, 
the inmates of which had, as I well remembered, 
given our household no slight trouble during the 
previous autumn. In the cavity formed by the wasps, 
and amongst the remains of their combs, the tomtit 
had found a snug nesting-place. I carefully covered 
up the hole, and believe the little bird brought up its 
family in peace. I have on two occasions found 
nests of the blue tit built amongst the honeycombs 
of a deserted beehive. Did space permit, I could 
cite many other instances of singularity shown by 
birds in their choice of nesting-places, but will 
conclude with the hope that what I have already 
narrated will not be totally devoid of interest to 
many, who, like myself, are fond of studying the 
manners and habits of our feathered friends. — 
R. Standen, Goosnargk, Lancashire. 

Blackbirds' Nests and Thrushes' Eggs.— It 
may interest some of my fellow-readers of Science- 
Gossip to know that I have found a blackbird's nest 
with four thrushes' eggs and five blackbirds' in it ; 
also a wren's nest in the roof of a thatched shed, in- 
side, containing several eggs of the common wren as 
well as three eggs of the house sparrow ; I have also 
several times found pheasants' and partridges' eggs in 
the same nest, but in none of these cases have I dis- 
covered which bird ultimately brought up the brood, 
as I regret to say in those days I used to take all the 
€ ggs I found. — J. T. Green. 

The Cuckoo's Eggs. — In last month's number 
of Science-Gossip, Mr. James Ingleby states that 
the eggs of the cuckoo "vary very much in colour, and 
very much resemble the eggs of the birds in whose 
nests they are deposited." That this is only partially 
correct, despite the very high authorities by which it 
is backed, I am assured. I have in my collection no 
less than eleven specimens of these birds' eggs. Four 
of these were taken from the nests of hedge sparrows ; 
all these four are of various shades of grey, mottled 
with darker spots, whilst those of the hedge-sparrow 
where of a bluish-green. One of the specimens I 
found in a wren's nest, along with nine wren's eggs. 
Here again the difference was very great, both as 
regards size and colour ; the cuckoo's egg being 
brownish-grey, whilst the wren's were white and dotted 
with red spots near the larger end. Of the rest, two 
were taken from the nests of common wagtails ; one 
situated in a pear-tree trained against a garden wall, 
and the other in a grape-vine in a similar situa- 
tion. Two more were found in sedge-warblers' nests 

about three feet from the ground. One was taken 
from a white-throat's nest, and the last in May, 1878, 
from a tree pipit's nest built in a bank at the side of 
the high road. In these last cases the difference was 
of course, not so clearly defined, but all the cuckoos' 
eggs in my collection are some shade of grey. In 
fact I have never seen but one cuckoo's egg that was 
not, and this was of a decidedly brown tinge. Of 
course, when the cuckoo lays her egg in the nest 
of a skylark, tree pipit, wagtail, or whitethroat, the 
difference is not so very great from those of the other 
bird. In reply to Mr. Kerr's queries, he will see that 
I have taken a cuckoo's egg from the nest of the 
common wren, which was only about eighteen inches 
from the ground. With the exception of the tree 
pipit, I found all my cuckoo's eggs in nests placed 
several feet above the ground. In the edition of 
" White's Natural History of Selbourne," edited by 
Mr. Jesse, the editor states in a note, page 108, " It 
is now known, by examination of the ovarium, that 
the cuckoo lays several eggs." In conclusion, I 
would refer both gentlemen to Volume XII. of 
Science-Gossip, where the subject of the cuckoo 
and its habits is discussed. — B. E. S. 

Woodpeckers and their Nests. — In the middle 
of February, 1878, I was deeply interested in a small 
woodpecker {Piacs minor) which daily kept up its 
busy tapping on the dead boughs of some twenty 
poplar-trees at the end of my garden. I watched it 
whenever I could get close enough to see it clearly. 
At one time I saw a larger species fly from the top of 
the same tree that the smaller species was tapping on. 
On March 3, I observed that it had a mate with it. 
I watched the pair until the middle of April, when I 
lost sight of them until, on June 20, I saw one 
flying in a direct line towards the poplars, they being 
just within sight. I saw it a second time three days 
after in the same place just come from the direction 
of the poplars ; it went over^a wall ; my appearance 
above the wall frightened it from some ivy growing 
on a house about ten yards distant, I believed at the 
time that it was searching for food, and had young 
up in the poplars ; and on July 6 I was surprised to 
find that it had successfully reared its young in a 
hole that it had made in the under side of a dead arm 
of an apple-tree, only ten feet from the ground (when 
I had supposed it was fifty feet high in the poplars). 
The entrance was perfectly and smoothly made, very 
small, and arched over into the centre of the touch- 
wood ; the arm was only fifteen inches round ; the 
hole was about fifteen inches deep, and recently made. 
The touchwood being quite clean, I carefully let a 
spoon down into the hole, but all was gone. On the 
12th instant I paid a visit to the hole, and found it 
neivly and very much enlarged in the same perfect 
manner, this could not have been done more than 
eight weeks, most probably had only been done a 
few days. A minute after this I heard the tapping 
up in the poplars, and searching, found my acquaint- 
ance of last year at his usual occupation ; and watch- 
ing it, saw it disturbed by passers-by and fly on to 
the apple-tree. My reason for inserting this interest- 
ing account is : can any of the readers of Science- 
Gossip inform me whether the larger species {Picus 
major) has enlarged the hole, and intends breeding 
in the apple-tree this season, or is it the same pair as 
last year? If so, why they should require a larger 
hole than last year, and at what date I may expect to 
find eggs (being a collector) ? I should like to know 
more clearly what their tapping is for, I believe it is 
for two purposes. — H. B., St. Ives. 

Colour of Birds' Eggs. — I am afraid Mr. J. 
Ingleby will find it difficult to procure anything that 



will answer his purpose. Varnish, of which I have 
tried many kinds, does not give a satisfactory result ; 
and besides, destroys the natural appearance of the 
egg. I never use varnish now, but find that I can 
preserve the colours of nearly all eggs by taking care, 
when blowing them, not to allow any moisture to 
touch the outside of the shell ; and when drying, 
before placing them in the cabinet, I carefully keep 
them from the light, for most eggs when newly blown, 
more especially those of a blue or greenish colour, 
and many of the hawk's fade more during a few days' 
exposure to the light, than they would in as many 
months when placed in the cabinet. Light should 
also be carefully excluded from the specimens in 
the collection. I have had few "faded" eggs since 
I adopted the above plan, six or seven years ago. — 
P. Standen, Goosnargh, Preston. 

Intelligence in Man and Animals. — The 
settlement of the question raised by Mr. H. D. Bar- 
clay in the January number as to intelligence in men 
and animals, depends very much on what we consider 
to be the precise nature or manner of the reasoning 
process. As to this point there is a dispute amongst 
philosophers. One school holds that all deductive 
reasoning is from general propositions to particular 
ones, whereas J. S. Mill and his followers maintain 
that "all inference is from particulars to particulars," 
and on that account, "the lower animals profit by 
experience, and avoid what they have found to cause 
them pain in the same manner, though not always 
with the same skill, as a human creature. Not only 
the burnt child, but the burnt dog dreads the fire." 
As we have no evidence that animals can form general 
propositions, if we adopt the latter view, then it must 
be admitted that animals can reason as competently 
as man can. If, on the other hand, the former 
doctrine be adopted, then the seeming reasoning of 
the lower animals can be explained as a simple pro- 
cess of association. "Animals are led, not by a 
concatenated train of discovered relations, but by 
mere impulse, i.e., by the suggestion which comes up 
according to the law of co-existence." Mr. H. C. 
Rogers asks, "If an animal does precisely the same 
thing that a man would do under certain circum- 
stances,' are we not justified in concluding that animal 
and man are moved by the same power ? " If 
"power " here means motive, then I do not think we 
should be justified in forming any such conclusion. 
Besides, it is impossible for us to know the full and 
precise "circumstances" under which any animal 
acts. Again, memory is an act of intellect, but cer- 
tainly not an act of reasoning in the sense of inferring 
one proposition from another. As regards the affec- 
tion of the dog, it is very probable that there is more 
of selfishness therein than is commonly supposed. 
That the dog likes his master for the latter's own 
sake can scarcely be supposed. The fact seems to 
be, that this animal is possessed of an irrepressible 
prodigality of life-energy, and any source of the 
gratification or exercise of that liveliness is of course 
exceedingly prized by him ; and hence when the 
master dies, the fountain of this life and energy is 
stopped ; " the very source of it is stopped," a 
circumstance amply sufficient to induce a serious 
revulsion of feeling, and an unwonted peculiarity of 
action. With regard to the wonderful feats per- 
formed by animals, Dr. Carpenter has, it seems to 
me, conclusively shown that these are merely me- 
chanical, the result of the animal organism "growing 
to the way in which it has been habitually exercised." 
Finally, the view that the reason of man is only 
developed instinct, has been seriously disputed by 
men of the highest culture, ability, and sanity. Man 

seems to have the faculty of forming certain notions, 
(such as moral good, the fair, the sublime, God, &c), 
and a power of anticipating the future, &c, which it 
would be difficult to prove were ever acquired, or 
could possibly be acquired by a mere process of 
development. The average cranial capacity of an- 
thropoid apes and of man, savage or civilized (viz. 
10 to 26 or 32), exhibits a proportion which is alto- 
gether inexplicable on the supposition that man's 
brain is a lineal descendant of that of some pre-his- 
toric ape, monkey, or baboon. — P. Q. Keegan, LL.D, 

Intelligence in Animals. — Your 'correspondent,. 
Mr. A. C. Rogers, quotes my words correctly, viz. : — 
"The great difficulty in the investigation of the 
minds of animals appears to be that man instinctively 
and unconsciously, unless checked by reflection, ex- 
plains their actions, especially in extraordinary cases, 
by his own modes and laws of thought," but when 
he asks "will Mr. Barclay kindly inform us how else 
we are to explain their actions if we are not to use 
our own modes and laws of thought," he appears to 
have misunderstood my meaning. Certainly we must 
use our own laws of thought ; most of us do not use 
them sufficiently. I will illustrate my meaning by 
considering the questions he puts. Is it simply instinct 
that induces a dog to starve itself to death on the 
grave of its master ? or risk its life unbidden to save 
that of a helpless child 1 In my last letter I defined 
reason as the power to draw a conclusion from pre- 
mises. Now, touching as the death of a dog on the 
grave of its master is, I can see in it no act of reason, 
but should rather conclude it indicated the absence 
of the faculty, neither can I perceive any act of 
reason in a dog leaping into the water unbidden to 
save a child, which he may do precisely in the same 
manner as he would jump after a stick which I have 
also seen a dog do unbidden. A man who could 
swim and declined to rescue a child from the water 
would be justly blamed, but who could blame a dog 
if it remained barking on the bank ? It is beyond 
dispute that animals have some intelligence and 
memory, but what I question is their power of 
reasoning, which is the root of man's civilisation and 
makes him a responsible being. It is a distinct 
faculty, and unless animals were originally endowed 
with it, that it should be developed by training as 
some maintain, appears to me simply incredible, and 
I have never yet read an anecdote that convinced me 
they are possessed of it. Since writing my first letter 
I have seen a book, "Thirty Years among Wild 
Beasts in India ; " the author's remark on the intelli- 
gence of elephant and the popular opinions thereon 
confirm my view of the question. — H. D. Barclay. 

A Curious Crustacean. — Some years ago I was- 
passing by a large stagnant pool, when my attention 
was arrested by a curious creature just beneath the 
surface of the water, which after some trouble I suc- 
ceeded in capturing. As I have never read of any 
fresh-water inhabitant resembling it, I thought some 
of your correspondents might be able to inform me 
what it was. As nearly as I can recollect, it closely 
resembled the common green crab of the seashore,, 
excepting that its " legs " were longer and thinner, 
and the carapace was circular and serrated at the 
edges. I brought it home in safety, but whilst I 
went for the necessary appliances for the examination, 
it mysteriously disappeared. Subsequently I dis- 
covered another and smaller one, which was also> 
lost by an accident before I could study it. The 
locality whese these crustaceans (?) were found, was 
in the middle of Berkshire, in a large pond close to> 
a wood. The month was July. The creatures were 



both apparently basking in the sun at the surface of 
the water ; neither made any effort to escape. They 
appeared to have no power of swimming nor diving. 
I hope some of your correspondents may be able to 
inform me what they were. — Junior. 

Hydrophilus piceus. — Can any of the readers of 
Science-Gossip inform me whether the above-men- 
iioned insect can be reared in captivity ; if it can, is 
Jthere any locality near London where I can look for 
the beetle or eggs with any chance of success ; or 
can I buy a supply of the eggs of any aquarium 
•dealer? The Rev. J. G. Wood, in his "Fresh and 
Salt Water Aquarium," gives some information about 
this beetle, but he neither mentions the time of year 
when the egg is to be found, nor the food of the larva. 
On Plate x. he depicts two specimens, one twice the 
size of the other ; are these the different sexes, or 
(extreme variations of size ? — F. Crosbie, Bar net. 

The Doubleday Collection. — I was very 
pleased to see the note in your last number from Mr. 
James English stating that the above collection is in 
such good condition, it would however have been of 
far greater use if published earlier. When Mr. 
Farn's letter appeared in the " Entomologist," I 
waited for a month to see if any one would contradict 
it, but as no one seemed to trouble about it I took 
the matter up myself — my letter was published in the 
■"Entomologists' Monthly Magazine" for December, 
and drew from Mr. Farn (the gentleman who had 
alleged the collection to be in such bad condition) a 
reply evidently intended to cast ridicule upon myself. 
I again wrote to the editors of the " Entomologists' 
Monthly Magazine " with a reply to Mr. Farn, fully 
refuting all his accusations and remarks, but had my 
letter returned, with a note from the editors to the 
effect that as they were then satisfied that the collec- 
tion was in good condition the correspondence would 
he stopped. I certainly thought that a short note 
from the editors to that effect would have appeared 
in the next number, but this was not done, thus 
entomologists are left to believe that I am totally 
disconcerted by Mr. Farn's letter, which is by no 
means the case. I think under these circumstances 
I am fully justified in making these remarks to correct 
so great a misconception with regard to myself. 
Mr. English's note in last month's Science-Gossip 
settles the matter in a most satisfactory manner. — 
W. J. Vandenbergh, Jan., Hornsey, Middlesex. 

Glyciphagus Plumiger. — In the July number of 
Science-Gossip, Mr. A. D. Michael announced the 
capture of a single specimen of this acarus, and after 
remarking on one in the possession of Mr. George, of 
Kirton Lindsay, says, "We may, I think, fairly 
claim this as a British species, although only a single 
individual has been detected in each instance." I 
have been fortunate in capturing a large number, 
male and female, of this interesting mite : and as in 
the former case, they were found among the fodder 
in a stable in this city. As there is a considerable 
quantity of foreign hay used in this place, it is quite 
probable it may have been introduced ; but the fact 
of its being alive and active, in the middle of De- 
cember, during a very severe frost, shows that it is 
hardy enough for our northern climate. — J. Lambert, 

Yews in Churchyards.— In reply to E. Straker's 
desire to obtain information respecting the various 
traditions relative to the planting of the yew in 
churchyards, &c, the following extracts may not be 
uninteresting to him, or other readers of " Science- 
■Gossip ; " they have been carefully searched out by 

a friend living in North Wales, and are well authen- 
ticated. The yew (Taxus baccata), so celebrated in 
our own country for its churchyard associations, and 
for its being employed in the manufacture of bows, 
the weapon principally used by our warrior ancestors 
before the introduction of fire-arms, has fewer 
legends connected with it than might be supposed. 
The custom of planting yew-trees in churchyards has 
never been satisfactorily explained. Some have sup- 
posed that these trees were placed near the churches, 
for the purpose of affording branches on Palm Sun- 
day ; others, that they might be safe there from 
cattle, on account of their value for making bows ; 
others, that they were emblematical of silence and 
death ; some, that they were useful for the purpose 
of affording shade or shelter to those places of wor- 
ship when in their primitive form. Different writers 
have entered more philosophically into this question, 
and presume that the yew was one of those evergreens 
which, from its shade and shelter, was especially 
cultivated by the Druids in their sacred groves, and 
around their sacrificial circles ; that when Christianity 
superseded Druidism, the same places were chosen as 
the sites of the new worship, and that in this arose 
the association of the yew-tree with our churches and 
churchyards. It was also employed in funerals, 
("by shroud of white, stuck all with yew;") in 
some parts of England dead bodies were rubbed over 
with an infusion of its leaves, to preserve them from 
putrefaction ; and many of our poets allude to its 
connection with ideas of death. According to 
Pennant's Scotland, vol. iii., page 25,' 4th edition, 
the yew, by our ancestors, for a classical reason, 
seems to have been planted among the repositories 
of the dead ; and they had also a political one, for 
placing them about their houses : in the first instance 
they were the substitutes of the Incisa Cupressns ; in 
the other, they were the designed provision of 
materials for the sturdy bows of our warlike an- 
cestors. Nature, who speaks to our eye as well as 
to our ear, paints the yew with gloom ; and we see 
at a glance, the propriety of planting it in church- 
yards, with respect to poetic sentiments, as well as to 
its former warlike utility. Tennyson imagines man's 
last foe, death, as "walking all alone beneath a yew." 
The "In Memoriam " of Tennyson describes the 
yew at the " lychgate : " 

" Old yew, which graspest at the stones 
That name the under-lying dead, 
Thy fibres net the dreamless head, 
Thy roots are wrapt about the bones," &c. 

Various other poetical allusions might be mentioned, 
from Wordsworth and others, in reference to these 
dismal trees, which are very beautiful, but perhaps 
others may contribute further remarks on the interest- 
ing subject of the yew-tree.— ii. Edzvards. 

Yew-Trees in Churchyards. — As to the reason 
why yew-trees are so often found in churchyards. I 
was walking with a clergyman three or four years 
ago in a churchyard in Kent, and he pointed out to 
me the four yew-trees which grew, one at each corner 
of the sacred inclosure. He told me that the reason 
why these trees are so often found in old churchyards 
is that there used to be a law that every parish was to 
grow yew to be made into bows for the use of the 
parishioners. As the foliage is very injurious to 
cattle (cows which have eaten of it frequently die) 
the yew-trees were planted in the churchyards, in 
order that there might be no danger of the cattle 
having access to it. —C. 

Tasmanian Land Shells. — Mr. Pettes, in an ar- 
ticle on "Sea Goings," gives me credit for having 



published a catalogue of Tasmanian Land Shells 
containing a list of all discovered up to date of 
publication, 1871. He, however, omits to say that 
this catalogue, as he terms it, contains over forty 
descriptions of species nowhere else to be found. In 
my humble opinion this is something more than a 
catalogue. I regret that the book lias been long out 
of print, so am unable to send you a copy. Mr. P. 
is in error when he states that If. vitrinaformis was 
described from a specimen found by him on Mount 
Wellington. That shell came from a place forty or 
fifty miles further south, and the type shell is in my 
possession. It was found by a Mr. Longley. — IV. 

The Birds and the Weather. — We have been 
diligently feeding the poor little birds here as usual, 
as in duty bound, during this most trying winter, and 
a very constant and amusing clientele we have had, 
furnishing us with a few incidents which may interest 
your readers. Amongst other provisions for them, 
we have been in the habit of tying up lumps of fat 
on a neighbouring bough. At first the tom-tits were 
left in sole and undisputed possession of this appetising 
morsel. The robins, however, soon began to cast a 
longing eye upon it ; and, for some time, could not 
succeed in reaching it, save by a rapid series of hops 
and flying bites, which must have been very tedious, 
and anything but satisfying. At last, by astounding 
perseverance, they mastered the difficulty, and became 
almost as expert as the tits themselves in perching 
upon or near their prey and making a meal from it. 
We did not observe any other birds that arrived so 
completely at this result ; though certain blackbirds 
and sparrows made many attempts in that direction. 
On one occasion the lump of fat was disengaged and 
fell to the ground, but an astute tit managed to 
restore it to its place, and to impale it upon a 
thorn, by way of larder. The visitors to our ban- 
quet were not altogether confined to bipeds. For a 
few days a wretched, scrubby-looking half-starved rat 
made his appearance on the scene, from which we 
had not the heart to banish him. Blackbirds, thrushes, 
house and hedge-sparrows, chaffinches, tits in abund- 
ance, robins, etc. ; one starling and one wagtail were 
our ordinary company. — C. IV. Bingham, Bingham' s 

The Water Shrew a Destroyer of the 
Spawn OF Fish. — It may not be generally known 
that the water shrew is a great enemy to the 
preservers of fish. My cousin, Mr. Masefield, of 
Ellerton Hall, Salop, annually rears a large number 
of trout by artificial hatching. For some time it was 
observed that depredations were committed by some : 
unknown visitor on the troughs containing the j 
spawn ; traps were set, and while I was visiting my i 
cousin the culprit was discovered by the capture of 
Sorex fodiens. If this fact has not been observed 
before, it adds one more to the numerous obstacles 
which the spawn of fish has to contend against in 
arriving at maturity in its natural state. — W. B. 
Masefield, Tittenson Parsonage, Stoke-npon-Trent. 

Holes in Oolitic Rocks. — The explanation 
given by your correspondent H. P. M., in Science- 
Gossip for January, to F. N. D.'s question, asked in 
Science-Gossip for November, 1878, "Why holes 
are found in oolite beneath sand," I think cannot be 
the correct one, because "water percolating through a 
superstructure of sand " could not, from the super- 
incumbent mass, move these sand particles about, and 
if there is no motion there can be no friction, conse- 
quently no wearing away. May not these holes have 
been made by the Lithodomi, or boring mollusca, 

previous to, or about the time of, the upheaval of,, 
(or receding of the sea from) the formation in which 
these holes are found? for it is well known these 
delicate little creatures have the power of perforating 
this and similar kinds of rocks. — J. W., Rotherham. 

Folk Lore. — Have we a saying in England, 
similar to the one frequently made use of in Rome, 
viz.: "St. Catherine's (November 25) weather is 
Christmas weather." There the peasants look for the 
same weather on Christmas Day as on November 25. 
— C. F. 

Interesting Plants in the Royal Gardens, 
Kew. — On the shelf devoted to Asiatic plants in the 
Palm House we notice Carica papaya, the Papaw, 
introduced into this country from India in 1690. 
Linnreus supposed it to be a native of Caria, but 
although now cultivated generally through the tropics, 
it is considered as originally a native of South 
America. It has been lately assigned to the natural 
order Passiflorere, tribe Papayacea?. A dioecious 
tree with a soft unbranched stem about twenty feet 
high, slightly swollen at the base, the palmatifid 
leaves with long petioles being clustered at the sum- 
mit. The fruit, when ripe, is yellow, and somewhat 
resembles a melon, it contains an acrid, milky juice, 
in which Vauquelin found by analysis the albuminoid 
fibrine, a substance until then believed to be peculiar 
to the animal kingdom. The whole plant has the 
remarkable quality of rendering fresh or tough meat 
tender, by causing a separation of the muscular fibres, 
and the same effect is said to be produced by merely 
suspending it among the leaves. At the corner of 
the central path we find Strychnos potatorum, the 
" clearing nut," which abounds in the forests of 
India. Natural order Loganiaceae. It forms a small 
tree bearing opposite ovate leaves, with two in- 
teraxillary spines. The hard wood is applied to a 
variety of domestic uses. The fruit is black, about 
the size of a cherry, and contains one seed. The 
natives of India employ the dried seeds to clarify 
muddy or impure water, and as they will never drink 
spring water if they can obtain any from ponds or 
rivers, the "clearing nut" must be simply invaluable.. 
The inside of the vessel is rubbed round with a seed, 
for a short time, the water to be cleared is poured in 
and all its impurities quickly sink to the bottom.. 
Dr. Pereira states that this result is due to the fining 
action of the albumen and casein, and that many 
other seeds might be used for the same purpose. On 
the African shelf is Tang/iinia vene?iiflua, the 
tanghin or ordeal-tree. This is an apocynaceous- 
tree, with alternate elliptical leaves, and long ter- 
minal cymes of pale pink flowers. There is a double 
ovary, but only one usually comes to perfection, 
forming an ellipsoid fruit about the size of a plum 
containing a hard stone which incloses the seed. It 
is this seed which once had so great a reputation 
among the natives of Madagascar as a detector of 
guilt ; but whatever doubt we might feel concerning 
its efficacy in that respect, it certainly possesses such 
extremely virulent qualities that it has been described 
as " the most poisonous of plants." A kernel no 
larger than an almond would be, if equally divided, 
sufficient to destroy twenty persons in less than half 
an hour. In the year 1830 the Queen of Madagascar 
determined to rid the country of sorcerers and decided 
upon a trial by ordeal as the most effectual means of 
doing so. Great numbers of persons were tried, and 
it is recorded that while the "unknown plebeians" 
succumbed to its deadly influence all the "nobility" 
recovered. Happily such trials are now things of the 
past. A short distance from the last plant on the 



same side is another ordeal-tree, not quite so well 
known, but included in the same order, Texicaphlaa 
Thtinbe?-gi a native of South Africa. Its leaves are 
opposite, elliptical, and of a very dark green colour ; 
it is now showing an abundance of small white flowers 
in axillary clusters. A decoction of the bark is used 
by the Hottentots as an ordeal.— Lewis Castle, West 
Kensington Park. 

Metropolitan Association. — At the monthly 
meeting held on January 28, the following papers 
were read — " On the Dissection of the Cockroach," 
by T. J. Briant. The main object of this paper was 
to show the proper method to be adopted in micro- 
scopic dissection, more especially by those who could 
not afford time for technical investigations. — "On 
Micro-photography," by C. W. Stidstone. Examples 
of the author's work were shown upon the screen, 
some of them being very creditable. — "The Cuticles 
•of Flowers," by Sidney Ireland. — " On Reproduction 
in the Lesser Celandine," by Henry T. Vivian. The 
author remarked that in the spring of last year he 
brought for examination from the neighbourhood of 
Isleworth a few flowers of this plant ; they were 
placed in water exposed to the light, and he was 
enabled to observe the very interesting mode in which 
the young plants of this species were produced. The 
flowers, to the stalks of which one or two leaves were 
attached, soon decayed, but singularly enough there 
were produced what appeared white grains at the 
axils of the leaves which increased in size as the 
plant decayed and then fell off and remained at the 
bottom of the jar. At the end of the year .they 
appeared to be budding and at present had become 
the tuberous roots of young plants, such as were then 
exhibited on the table. This circumstance did not 
appear to be noticed in the botanical works to which 
the author had access, but he found the process 
described in a book just published by Shirley Hibbert. 
It appeared this plant never produced seeds in this 
climate, though perfectly fitted to do so, as all the 
organs of fructification were complete. The fact of 
the plant flowering in the wet weather might perhaps 
account for the non-production of seed, but it was 
interesting to note that another form of reproduction 
took place when it could not be accomplished in the 
usual mode.— "On the Horse-Bot," by J. W. 
Goodinge, F.R.M.S. This paper was simply a 
general introduction to the noble series of slides 
which were exhibited under several microscopes. 

Bougainvilleaz>. Bugainvillea. — The apparent 
inconsistency in the orthography of the above word, 
observed by Mr. John Gibbs, admits of an easy ex- 
planation. The latter was adopted by Lindley as the 
best Latin rendering of the French name. The long 
ii nearly represents the sound of the French diphthong 
ou, pronounced 00, which does not occur in the 
Latin language. As regards the first and generally 
accepted orthography, we find in ' ' Laws of Nomen- 
clature," by M. Alphonse de Candolle, received by 
the International Botanical Congress, 1867, as "the 
best guide for nomenclature in the vegetable king- 
dom," that article 27 states, "when the name of a 
genus and sub-genus or section is taken from the 
name of a person the spelling of the syllables is pre- 
served without alteration even with letters or diphthongs 
now employed in certain languages, but not in Latin." 
Mr. Gibbs will find some excellent remarks on this 
subject in Science-Gossip, 1877, page 193. — L. 

Curious effect with the Microphone. — I do 
not know whether any one has observed the following 
curious effect with the microphone. Placing the 

receiving telephone on the stand of the microphone, 
so that the vibrating disk is near the carbon pencil, 
I find that a slight touch on the microphone produces 
a continuous musical note, which sounds on till stopped 
by a rougher touch, or by tapping the table. I used 
an upright carbon microphone. — F. R. 

Laburnum. — In this town there is a laburnum 
which flowers regularly twice a year, at the usual 
time and again in the autumn ; the flower pendants 
are shorter, and the flowers closer together than in 
the ordinary laburnum, a specimen of which grows in 
the same garden. Would B. H. Nesbit Browne state 
whether the same peculiarity exists or not in the 
specimen he has seen ? — IV. G. Tuxford. 


To Correspondents and Exchangers. — As we now 
publish Science-Gossip a week earlier than heretofore, we 
cannot possibly insert in the following number any communi- 
cations which reach us later than the 9th of the previous 

To Anonymous Querists. — We receive so many queries 
which do not bear the writers' names that we are forced to 
adhere to our rule of not noticing them. 

R. Beer. — The stories of vipers swallowing their young, are 
to be found in every work on natural history. In years past, 
our Notes and Queries columns have chronicled many such. 

J. W. T. — Your papers will certainly appear on the first 
opportunity. We should be glad to accept that you now refer to. 

K. E. Gamp.—" Blue John" is a fluate of lime, not manga- 
nese. Oxide of manganese is the violet colouring matter of it. 
The mineral is very soft, and can be easily polished after cutting 
and rubbing down. The method of polishing fossil wood depends 
on how the latter is mineralised. If silicified, it is first cut and 
ground down, and then polished with emery, the finest kind 
being used last. 

C. R. S. — We cannot tell you how to get an assistant-curator- 
ship in a colonial or other museum, except by advertising for 
such a situation. 

B. C. J. (Leeds). — See the Rev. J. C. Crombie's article on 
lichens, in " Collecting and Preserving Natural History Objects," 
price is. 6d. Hardwicke & Bogue, 192 Piccadilly, London, W. 

R. Ratcliife. — The brown objects found underneath the 
beetle are the beetle-mite [Gamasus coieoptratonnti). 

Micro. — The anchor-shaped spicules mounted on slides are 
undoubtedly those of sponges. The coloured spicules appear 
to belong to some Alcyonidium. Please send us one or two 
other slides when you mount them, that we may investigate 
them further. 

J. A. Sanford (Toledo, Ohio, U.S.) — Wishes botanists who 
are desirous of exchanging rare British for American plants, to 
communicate with him as per above address. 

H. J. Livett. — The grubs which attacked your celery were 
evidently the larva? of some beetle, but they reached us in such 
a dried-up and shrivelled condition, that it was quite impossible 
to make out the species. Watering growing celery with chamber 
lye is a capital stimulant to the plant, and an equally bad one 
for grubs of all kinds. 

W. E. M. — The article on "Collecting and Preserving " is 
the best one we know of on the subject of cleaning and preparing 
bones. There is a great dearth of information on the subject, 
and we should be glad if some of our readers who have worked 
at it would contribute a good practical paper on the subject. 

J. C. Raye. — The articles on ".Our Common British Fossils, 
and where to find them," will be resumed in our May number, 
and continued. Press of literary work has delayed their issue. 

Dr. M. — The objects on the piece of sea-weed were a colony 
of polyzoa. called M ' embranifiora membranacea. 

C. W. L. — The New Cross Microscopical and Natural 
History Society, meets at the New Public Hall, Lewisham 
High Road. 

R. Humphrey. — Our correspondence is too extensive to 
permit us acknowledging by letter the receipt and acceptance 
of every MS. sent. If accepted, we insert it in the order of its 
date, as far as we possibly can. No apology is needed on your 

J. E. M.— Wishes to know if " Heywood's Register of Facts 
and Occurrences relating to Literature, Science and Art" is still 
in existence. Perhaps some of our correspondents can answer 

H. Sissons. — We are obliged, in the general interests of other 


" exchangers," whose advertisements are crushed out, not to 
allow an " exchange " to exceed three lines, unless it is paid for 
as an advertisement. Yours would make eight lines. 

B. — A good specimen of Euplectella might be purchased at 
any natural history dealer's in London, say Henson's in the 
Strand ; T. D. Russell, or Bryce Wright, for about js. 6d. or 
10s. (2) As to preserving crustaceans, see note on this subject 
by a capital authority, Mr. T. D. Russell, in September number 
of Science-Gossip for 1877. (3) There is no book or even 
exhaustive article on the latter subject. One is much needed. 

Gregorius. — The occurrence of starlings in flocks, especially 
in the southern counties, is very common during hard winters. 
Many of them leave the northern parts of Britain. The starling 
has a sweet, twittering kind of note, but we should hardly rank 
it among our song-birds. 

W. Bennet. — Bat received. Will examine it and let you 

J. E. Stephens. — The object is part of the cluster of eggs 
laid by the common whelk ( Buccinum undatum). See "Half 
Hours by the Sea-side," by J. E. Taylor (page 203), published 
by Hardwicke & Bogue, price 4s. 

H. G. Wheeler. — We believe the diatom you found in the 
mussel is undescribed. It is a Cocconeis, and might be called 
Cocconeis umbonata, or Cocconeis crucifera. — K. 


Wanted to exchange lichens for some desiderata in Parmeliae, 
Ramalinae, Stictse, &c— J. McAndrew, New Galloway, N.B. 

Rissoa lactea, H omalagyra rota, and other rare British 
shells, offered for minerals. Lists exchanged. — E. Duprey, 

Wanted, in exchange for good typical specimens of Cornish 
rocks, and some minerals, a good collection of fossils represent- 
ing the new red sandstone, or the permian or the old red for- 
mations. — S. Tressider, Jun., Marlborough Road, Falmouth. 

I have a quantity of shells, mostly small, from east and west 
coasts of Africa, which I should be glad to exchange for micro 
slides or good material. — G.W.Brady, Carrow Works, Norwich. 

Duplicates of forty species of British marine shells for others 
or birds' eggs. — Thomas H. Hedworth, Dunston, Gateshead. 

Wanted, named algae, zoophytes, &c., exchange. — 3 Belmont 
Villas, New Brompton, Kent. 

For a fine spray of Plumularia falcata or Seriularia abic- 
tina, each loaded with Crisa cbttrnen, and Cellepora pumicosa, 
send well-mounted slides to E. W. Burgess, 35 Langham Street, 
London. Pollens and rock sections preferred. 

Wanted, tooth of labyrinthodon, for microscopical purposes ; 
will give interesting slide or material in exchange. W. H. Harris, 
44 Partridge Road, Cardiff. 

Wanted, a copy of the last edition of the " Micrographic 
Dictionary"; anyone having one for disposal, at a reasonable 
price, will oblige by addressing H. G. Wheeler, 24 Knowsley 
Street, Bury. 

Good British shells given in exchange for the shell stoppers 
of foreign shells (Operculums) of various sorts. Also slabs 
of polish of madrepores for good Silurian fossils. Will also 
exchange thin down specimens of corals for the microscope for 
good foreign Pinna;, Mediterranean sorts preferred. — A. J. R. 
Sclater, 4 Bank Street, Teignmouth, Devon. 

"Conchology," by W. Wood, vol. i., 59 hand-coloured 
plates, in good condition. Wanted, Nicholson's " Palaeontology," 
or offers. — J. Carpenter, Cheshunt, Herts. 

Wanted, a few amateurs to join an ever-circulator, devoted 
to botany, which has been in^ circulation since 1877. For 
further particulars, address "Conductor," 233 Upper Brook 
Street, Chorlton-on-Medlock, Manchester. 

Wanted, " L. C." 7th edition, Nos. 5, 13b, 18c and d, 23, 25, 
3 2 . 37> 6 5> 9°. io 3» Io6 » H 8 , 153 CO. 214, 215, 221, 309, 367b, 395, 
for others. Send lists. Also 100 named mosses, offered for 
same number from another locality, or for an equivalent. — 
R. V. Tellam, Bore Street, Bodmin. 

"L. C," 7th edition, Nos. 41, 45, 107, 124, 172, 209, 366,667, 
814, 822, 824, 831, 858, 875, 906, 932, 1040, 1135, 1264, 1271, 
1401, 1447. Send lists to H. R. Moiser, F.G.S., 2 South View, 
Haworth, near York. 

Wanted, objects of marine zoology. Agates, minerals, &c. 
offered in exchange. — J. P. Wright, Sunnybank Terrace, 
Undercliffe Lane. Bradford, Yorkshire. 

Wanted, a good second-hand microscope ; write, stating 
full particulars, to C. Mcintosh, no Dalling Road, Hammer- 
smith, W. 

Well-mounted slides of portions of pigeon post, used during 
siege of Paris, in exchange for two slides of interest, also well- 
mounted. — L. Hawkins, Hillside, Hastings. 

Three skulls, lemur, porcupine, and another, also a good 
scorpion, and a small flying-fish, to exchange for British birds' 
eggs, side-blown, named fossils, or offers in natural history 
objects. Science-Gossip for 1877, wanted, unbound preferred. 
— W. B. R., 165 White Ladies Road, Bristol. 

Authenticated, side-blown eggs, 300 species, including 
European, British, and African, clutches, broad-billed sandpipers, 
parrot crossbills, hawk, owl, red-foot falcons, and most of the 

birds of prey, collected 1878 ; exchange arranged by letter. — 
Sissons, Sharrow, Sheffield. 

Wanted, living specimens of Doris, Trochus, Nassa, &c. in 
exchange for good micro slides, all well-mounted. — Apply Henry 
Insley, 1 Back of Chester Place, Gerrard Street, Birmingham. 

To exchange, sixteen three-shilling parts of " British Wild 
Flowers," by J. E. Sowerby, for Cox's "British Coleoptera " 
and natural history specimens ; also, British plants for fossils. — 
G. Robson, 92 Cranbourne Street, Leicester. 

Duplicates, pairs of fine well-set local Lepidoptera from 
cabinet. Desiderata, skins of birds, squirrels, &c. 

" Nature "for 1876 (fournumbers missing), offered for foreign 
or British Algae. — E. C. J., Monson Nursery, Red Hill, Surrey. 

One hundred silkworms' eggs {Bombyx Yama Mori), on. 
receipt of stamped envelope or object of interest. — Mrs. Skilton, 
London Road, Brentford, Middlesex. 

Cassell's " Wild Flowers," 24 numbers ; " European Butter- 
flies and Moths," 12 numbers; a West Indian centipede and 
two lizards in spirits. Will exchange all or any of these for 
"Popular Science Review," geological works, or fossils. — 
J. A. Floyd, Mission House, Alcester, Warwickshire. 

Slide of Glyciphagus plumiger, in exchange for other acarus 
(rare) or animal parasite. — J. Lambert, 12 Glen Street, Edin- 

Foraminiferous SAND from Barmouth, very rich, contain'ng 
many rare forms, in exchange for slides, material, or shells. — 
J. J. Colton, Barmouth. 

Duplicates of British land and fresh-water shells offered, 
and the localities of each recorded. Succinea oblonga, Li>n* 
Burnetii, Lim. involuta, V. pusilla, T. antivertigo, V. sub- 
striata, V. alpestris, V. minutisshna, V . angustior, Fupa 
ringctis. Desiderata, named foreign land and marine shells,, 
which, if not in stock of any collector, are readily obtainable 
from dealers. — W. Sutton, High Claremont, Newcastle-on-Tyne. 

Wanted, to borrow for a short time a flora of South Devon. 
Address, with terms, A. D. Melvin, North Malvern. 

For well-mounted flea from mole, hedgehog, rabbit or hare, 
also cattle tick, send good slides, marine diatoms, diatomaceous 
earth, or good micro-fungi particularly wanted. — George Turvill, 
East Worldham, Alton, Hants. 

Well-rooted plants of exotic ferns, blooming, greenhouse 
plants (not bedd'ng) and many species of the Cacti tribe, several 
producing magnificent flowers, in exchange for rare British 
shells, foreign shells, polished stones, books on natural history, 
or offers. — E. R. F., 82 Abbey Street, Faversham. 

Crystals of Zeolite from the Giant's Causeway, good polari- 
scopic object ; also Foraminifera from Antrim and Down beach 
floatings, and diatomaceous earth from Toome bridge, for any- 
good slides. Lists exchanged. — William Gray, Mount Charles, 


" Notes by a Naturalist on the ' Challenger.' " By H. N. 
Moseley, F.R.S. London: Macmillan & Co. 

"The Study of Rocks." By F. Rutley, F.G.S. London: 
Longman & Co. 

"Practical Geology." By W. J. Harrison, F.G.S. London: 
W. Stewart & Co. 

" Geological and Geographical Survey of Colorado, &c," 
1878. Washington: Government Printing Office. 

' ' Birds of the Colorado Valley." By Dr. Coues : Washington : 
Government Printing Office. 

"Journal of-the Royal Microscopical Society." February. 

"American Quarterly Microscopical Journal." January. 

"Journal de Micrographie." January. 

" Feuilles des Jeunes Naturalistes." February. 

"LesMondes." February. 

"Revue Mycologique." January. 

" Midland Naturalist." February. 

" Land and Water." February. 

" Brierley's Journal." February. 
&c. &c. &c. 

Communications received up to 12TH ult. from: — 
F. K.— T. S— C P. O.— J. McG.— E. D.— W. B.— W. H. D. 
_ j c W — S. T — T. P — F. T. F.-T. W.— W. L. B.— H. B. 
— E. E.— G. W. B.— W. E. M.— C. W. B.— A. J. R. S— 
W. L. G.-F. M.-C. R. S.-H. G. W.— J. C.-H. D. B.— 
W. L. D.— E. W. B.— I. C. T.-Dr. M.-T. H. H.-J. A. S. 
D. M. D.— G. L. B.— H. P. M.-H. W. L.-W. H. H.— R. R. 
—J. O. Dr. P. Q. K.-M. M. B.-J. E. M.-R. S.— G. R.— 
R. E.-J. W. S.-J. C. R--H. I.-J. S.-W. J. H.-A. B.- 
F. C — W. B. R —J. S.-E. M.— Dr. De C— R. H.— A. D. M. 
-C. Mcl.-J. P. W.-J. W. C-R. V. T.-R. B.-T. F. U.— 
A. C. C.-W. J. V.-H. R. M.— F. I. W.-L. C— J. T.-G. N. 
_j. r._v. W. M.-B. E. S.-C. F.— W. B. M— J. U.— 
W . S.-J. J. C.-J. W. T.— H. E. G.-J. L.-J. A. F.-H. S. 
-Professor T.-J. F. T. D.-S. C. H.-W. W.-G. R. G.— 
M. S.-E. C. J.-W. H. H.-W. S.— E. R. F.-G. T.-R. P. P. 
-C. R. L.-A. D. M.-W. B.— G. C D.— W. G.— W. E.;B.— 
J. E. S.— &c. 


I o 


have not been so 
much delighted 
with a book since 
we read Darwin's 
' ' Journal of a 
Naturalist," as we 
have with Mr. H. 
N. Moseley's 
Notes by a Natura- 
list on the " Chal- 
lenger V (London : 
Macmillan & Co.) 
Si ngularly 
enough, the book 
is dedicated to 
Darwin, in ac- 
knowle d g e m e n t 
of that authors' 
"Journal." We 
cannot forbear 
quoting the 
"Dedication," for although these literary vagaries 
are " survivals " of a period, when they were unfortu- 
nately necessary to a poor author, yet they afford 
modern writers the opportunity of expressing their 
genuine gratitude for services other than pecuniary 
they have received. Mr. Moseley's dedication is 
moreover representative, for it expresses the feel- 
ings of many grateful naturalists who have not the 
opportunity of so practically acknowledging it as 
Mr. Moseley has. " To Charles Darwin, Esq., LL.D., 
F.R.S., &c. From the study of whose 'Journal of 
Researches,' I mainly derived my desire to travel 
round the world ; to the development of whose theory 
I owe the principal pleasures and interests of my life, 
and who has personally given me much kindly en- 
couragement in the prosecution of my studies, this 
book is, by permission, gratefully dedicated." 

Mr. Moseley has long been regarded as one of our 
most -promising young naturalists. He inherits the 
scientific tendencies of his father, the distinguished and 
lately deceased Rev. Canon Moseley. As a Fellow 
of Exeter College, and the possessor of the Radcliffe 
travelling fellowship, he has been fortunately enabled 
to pursue studies for which he is so well fitted. His 
No. 172. 

researches in the natural history relations of the 
Milleporidse and Stylasteridre, in which he has shown 
that these abundant and so-called "Corals" are in 
reality allied to the Hydroid polypes, rather than to 
the Anthozoa, have opened out a new field of specula- 
tion and classification. Although the " Challenger" 
expedition has already furnished us with abundant 
literature, it is not invidious, but simply a justice to 
the talented author of this book to say that none will be 
so warmly or satisfactorily welcomed and read. In a 
pleasant confidential manner, Mr. Moseley makes his 
readers the companions of his voyage. We gradually 
feel as he does the necessity to examine every object, 
mineral, vegetable, or animal, and we are delighted 
by finding these objects assuming a new importance, 
when regarded in the light of Evolutionism. For the 
author is an ardent evolutionist, and makes frequent 
use of that philosophy to speculate on derivations, 
relationships, and general embryology. We can but 
faintly indicate the fresh and delightfully new avenues 
of thought which Mr. Moseley's book opens out. 
Nothing is neglected — physics, physical geography, 
geology, mineralogy, botany, zoology, anthropology ; 
in each of these departments the reader will find 
abundant reflections. The "Challenger" expedition 
has not been so successful in results as its friends 
desired it, and all confess to a disappointment. We 
cannot but think, however, that Mr. Moseley's 
"Notes" will do more than anything which has 
yet publicly appeared to restore confidence in the 
scientific results of the celebrated voyage. 

Flowers and their unbidden Guests, by Dr. A. 
Kerner ; translated by Dr. W. Ogle (London : C. 
Kegan Paul & Co.), is a well-known work, recently 
translated from the German. We are glad that 
English readers have now the opportunity of studying 
one of the most delightful books that have yet appeared 
on the mechanism and morphology of flowers. It is 
a veritable romance of natural history ; it throws 
a new and poetic glamour about the simplest flower 
of the roadside. We have already learned how 
flowers have been coloured and perfumed and dif- 
ferently shaped, in order to attract useful insects to 
the necessary work of cross-fertilisation, but here we 
are introduced to numberless devices, by means of 



which flowers (like conscious agents) are enabled to 
repel and refuse admission to insects, such as ants, 
which would rob the nectaries whilst rendering no 
useful services in return. The hairs and glands on 
stems and calyx, the fibrils on petals like those of 
the bog-bean [Menyanthes trifoliata), &c, are all 
intended against " forbidden guests." No one could 
have been better intrusted with the editing of an 
English edition of this remarkably original work than 
Dr. Ogle. It is illustrated by lithographed details of 
flowers whose structures are intended to repel insect 
pests, and we have thus rather too closely packed to- 
gether no fewer than one hundred and eighteen figures. 
The Physical Geology and Geography of Great 
Britain, by Professor Ramsay (London : Edward 
Stanford), is a good illustrative book of the doctrine 
of evolution, and "The Survival of the Fittest." 
This is the fifth edition, and it has gradually grown 
to its present remarkable bulk from a thin revised 
copy of " reporter's notes " of certain lectures on the 
subject. It has now attained the dignity of a book, 
after additions to each edition of new matter and 
fresh illustrations ; and it warrants us in saying that 
it is the best and most readable book on the subject 
in the English language. When a work has reached 
its fifth edition, it has proved its amenity to ordinary 
criticism. But the numerous additions to, and the 
general revision of the present work have virtually 
made it a new book. We have read it through from 
back to back with fresh pleasure, although we had 
experienced much delight with the perusal of the 
more meagre third edition. We take it as a good 
sign when men of Professor Ramsay's position, as 
head of the geological survey, and also examiner-in- 
chief in geology at South Kensington, write books of 
this broad and understandable character for geological 
readers. We hardly need say, after the above remarks, 
that we cordially and earnestly recommend the work 
to all students. 

IVildSports and Natural History of the Highlands, 
by Charles St. John. (London : John Murray.) This 
is a new and illustrated edition of a work which 
sportsmen - naturalists have long placed on their 
shelves, side by side with Gilbert White's " Selborne." 
We are thankful that the publisher has issued such 
an attractive edition as is likely to make this most 
enjoyable book known to readers, who perhaps are 
not aware of the treat in store for them on perusing 
it. It is one of the "classics" of our zoological 
works, full of mountain air, out-door adventures, and 
observations, and in full sympathy with life of all kinds. 
This edition is de luxe. Apart from the excellency 
of the clear type, the woodcut illustrations are gems 
of art, for among the artists are Harrison Weir, 
Charles Whymper, A. C. Corbould, A. H. Collins, 
A. T. Elwes, and J. W. Whymper. The reperusal 
of this most delightsome book, under these advan- 
tageous circumstances, has been as refreshingly 
interesting as lovers' quarrels. 

Six Months in Ascension, by Mrs. Gill (London : 
John Murray), gives a popular and very readable 
description of the islands of that name, and of the 
expedition thither to determine the correct distance 
of the earth to the sun. There is a capital preface by 
the husband of the authoress, Mr. David Gill, giving 
the history of solar measurements. Some people 
have complained that astronomers should differ to the 
extent of a million or two of miles as to the correct 
distance of the sun from us, but Mr. Gill well puts 
this, when he tells us that if any one desires to form 
an adequate idea of the difficulties of measuring the 
sun's distance to a million of miles, he can best do it 
by trying to measure the thickness of a florin-piece 
looked at, edge on, a mile off. We may regard Mrs. 
Gill's book as the best account of the history of, and 
the reason for, the recent Venus' Transit Expedition 
yet published. 

Geological students and others ought to be thankful 
that the best man in England for such a task has 
been selected to write an elementary text-book of 
Petrology, a subject too [little studied by English 
mineralogists. The Study of Rocks, by Frank Rutley, 
F.G.S. (London : Longmans, Green, & Co.), is the 
name of this new and cheap little manual. It supplies 
a great want ; one attempted very successfully in 
Mr. G. H. Kinahan's " Handy Book of Rock Names," 
but still not properly met before. Petrology has been 
gaining ground in England, and this text-book comes 
in the very nick of time. In it the student will find 
full instructions as to how to collect and arrange rock 
specimens, and to cut and prepare sections for micro- 
scopical examination. 

Practical Geology, by W. Jerome Harrison, F.G.S. 
(London : W. Stewart & Co.), is a cheap little manual, 
admirably adapted to teacher's classes, and to young 
and earnest students. The author is a well-known 
geologist, who has had sufficient experience in 
geological teaching to know exactly what a student 
wants, and how those wants are to be supplied. 
This little book deals a good deal with field geology, 
and thus enables the reader to sally forth and intel- 
ligibly understand what he sees.;] Once a lad has 
done this, he is a geologist henceforth. There are 
few of the numerous elementary text - books of 
geology, that we can commend more than this of 
Mr. Harrison's. 

Baths and Bathing, and Personal Appearance in 
Health and Disease (London : Hardwicke & Bogue), 
are two additional little volumes of the now well- 
known " Health Primers." No family library ought 
to be without these cheap, attractive, and well- 
printed little volumes. Each is an authority on the 
subject it treats upon, for the authors are among the 
most eminent. We cannot wonder, therefore, at the 
great success of this speculation. The price of each 
" Primer " is only one shilling, and as they deal with 
almost every subject affecting health and disease, and 
are written in a plain and intelligible manner, there 



is no longer any excuse for being ignorant of what 
ought most to concern us. 

The volumes issued by the United States Geological 
Survey, under Dr. Hayden, indicate as great industry 
as their subject-matter does diligence in the field. 
The Tenth Annual Report is just to hand, in a bulky 
volume, well stored with maps, sections, and other 
illustrations, of the geological and geographical survey 
of Colorado and the adjacent territories. It is in 
reality a report of the progress made by the survey in 
the year 1876. In it we have laborious details of the 
various strata and their physical condition, as well as 
interesting generalisations. Among the geologists 
who contribute to the "Reports," are Dr. C. A. 
White, Professor Endlich, Dr. A. C. Peale, W. H. 
Holme, A. D. Wilson, H. Gaunett, Professor Les- 
quereux, A. S. Packard, Dr. Hoffmann, and others. 
The archaeology of the area surveyed is detailed, as 
well as the geography, geology, botany, zoology, &c. 
The Birds of the Colorado Valley, by Dr. Elliot 
Coues, is another bulky volume of this survey series, 
detailing the scientific and popular information con- 
cerning North American ornithology, by the naturalist 
best fitted for the task. Will the English govern- 
ment ever learn to be less niggardly and mean with 
the works published by the members of our own 
geological survey? At present, by the high price 
demanded for the volumes, and the stint with which 
they are issued to scientific journals for review, they 
appear to be doing their best to withhold the scientific 
information from that public who have already been 
taxed to pay for it. 


By Dr. De Crespigny, Author of "A New London 
Flora," &c. 

{Continued from page 6.] 

WE find no fungus in our collection referable to 
the family of Hydnei : some of the stemless 
and resupinate forms are common enough on dead 
wood and fallen branches, but Hydnum repandum, an 
edible species with the habit of an agaric, has to the 
best of our knowledge not been reported as occurring 
in Epping forest ; but, as we gathered a specimen in 
Highgate wood a year or two ago, it may not im- 
probably be met with also in the forest ; it will be 
recognised by the close-set series of spinous processes 
over which the hymenium is spread out. The pileus, 
usuallyjrregular (as in the figure), is of a~pale ochre 

Of fungi belonging to the Auricularini we have 
Stereum hirsutwn and purpureum, a Corticium, 
and Thelephora laciniata. In this family there are 
neither plates, tubes nor spinous processes : the 
hymenium is spread over the smooth surface of the 
hymenophorum, with which it is confluent. These 

fungi are waxy or gelatinous or mostly coriaceous 
expansions growing upon decayed wood or attached 
to dead sticks, stems, &c, many of them resupinate. 
Stereum hirsutum is very common and very variable ; 
when young the hymenium is of a tawny yellow 
colour; the pileus coriaceous, reflexed, strigoso-hirsutc. 
S. purpureum when fresh, has the hymenium of a 
pale violet hue ; (on stumps of felled trees). All the 
many recorded species of Stereum, Corticium and the 
like, resemble each other ; they differ merely in colour 
and substance, and are consequently difficult to 

Thelephora laciniata is a very singular-looking 
fungus ; it grows upon sticks, heath stalks, and at the 
roots of old trees ; also on leaves (or their stalks) ; it 
is of a madder brown colour, with a lighter shaded or 
greyish border when fresh gathered ; a fibroso- 
squamose flat or foliaceous expansion without any 
cuticle, the fibres projecting beyond the margin and 
imparting that laciniated appearance to the plant to 
which it owes its name ; the hymenium is inferior 
flocculose and papillose : the spores, as we observed 
them, were quaternate on sporophores. 

Of the club-shaped fungi, Clavariei, are specimens 
of three species : C. cristata, C. vermiculata, and 
C. fusiformis ; the former in damp shady parts of the 
forest ; the second on a grassy common at Woodford ; 
the last mentioned in open parts of the forest behind 
Loughton, — it has fascicled or subfascicled clavi of a 
yellow colour, and resembles C. fastigiata or C. in- , 
cvqualis; maybe we have mistaken it for the latter species. 
In this family the hymenium is scarcely distinct from 
the hymenophorum, and covers the whole surface of 
the plant from the base to the apex. 

In the second order of the spore-bearing fungi, the 
Gasteromycetes, the hymenium consisting of closely 
packed cells, is rolled up, in some cases, as it were 
into a sac or ball called peridium, and not until the 
rupture of this by decay or otherwise, are the cells 
exposed and the spores liberated. Of the Trichogastres, 
which contain the typical forms of the family, we have 
examples in three kinds of puffballs : Lycoperdon 
gemmatum, Scleroderma cepa and S. vcrrucosum. The 
peridium of the former genus is membranous ; that 
of the latter is hard and coriaceous : both genera 
occasionally exhibit a warty character in the integu- 
ments, L. gemmatum especially so (see fig. 68). "The 
hymenium occupies the surface of innumerable sinuses, 
folds and cavities, all closely compacted into a 
crumblike mass, the stem being a continuation of the 
barren cells " (Berkeley). In Scleroderma the hymen- 
ium is traversed by veins, and the spores are larger 
than they are in Lycoperdon. 

In the Phalloidera family, the hymenium is also 
confined at first in a peridium which differs from that 
of the preceding family in that there is an intermediate 
gelatinous layer between its coats. The stipe in its 
undeveloped condition has the large cells or cavities 
of its parenchyma compressed ; but they are obvious 

E 2 



enough when bursting through the volva : it attains a 
growth of from four to six inches. The hymenium is 
deliquescent when mature : — Phallus impudicus ; fre- 
quent, and when not visible to the eye, sensible, by 
the sickening odour which it diffuses, to the smell. 

On a hedge bank at Chingford Hatch, near Wood- 
ford, some years ago, we gathered specimens of a 

curious plant belonging to another family of the 
Gasteromycetes, viz., Nidularia striata (may be 
there now) ; the peridium, or rather the receptacle, 
in this tribe is open and cyathiform when fully deve- 
loped, and the spores though produced on sporophores, 
are compacted into little globose bodies, of which 
there are several in each receptacle, and each of them 

65U XfL* <& v 

Fig, 62, — Hydnum rejrandum ; a. spines 

1 % mm'^ 

Fig. 63. — Smooth hymenium and strigoso-hirsute 
pileus of Stereum hirsutum. 

Fig. 64.— Papillose hy- 
menium and spores of 
the same, quaternate 
on sporophores. 

Fig. 65. — ThelepJwra laciniata (upper and under surfaces). 

attached by a 

Fig. 68. — Spinulose warts on 
the cuticle of Lycoperdon 
gemmatum (enlarged). 

Fig. 67. — Clavaria cristata. 

Fig. 69. — Section of a Sclero- 

k derma, showing the central 

purplish-black mass of cells. 

Fig. (6. — Clavaria fusiformis. 

filament to its base. These 
gregarious ; something of similar 

plants are 

growth may be observed on the fronds of certain 

species of Marchantia. 

Of the Ascomycetous order, also, we found 
a few interesting fungi, viz., Xylaria hypoxylon, 
from the base of an old gate-post ; Peziza 
vesicularis, from a dunghill ; and a Sphseria or 
two from the dead branches of trees. The 
fructification in plants of this order consists of 
sporidia (compound spores) enclosed in cases 
called asci, either free or immersed in the 
substance (stroma) of the fungus.* 

Peziza vesicularis is common : the matrix is 
rotten hay or straw haulms. The sporidia are 
eight in number, and, closely packed with the 

* Similar to what obtains in lichens, except that no 
shields are developed for the purpose. 



asci, which contains them, are barren or empty asci, 
called paraphyses. * The cups are of a brownish 
colour, not unlike very thin gutta percha, brittle, the 
hymenium soft and velvety from the compact layer of 
asci with which it is covered. Xylaria hypoxylon has 
the habit of Clavaria ; it is black, greyish at the 
summit, hairy below. The horny receptacles in which 
the asci are contained are called perithecia. 

Sphaeria is something of a lichen in its habit of 
growth. The genus has been of late years split into 
several sub-genera : the distinctions are difficult to 

Sapedonium, yellow boletus mould as it is called ; an 
agency by which one fungus is converted into a mass 
of spores produced by another ; frequent : and Tuber- 
cularia (fam. Stilbacei), little excrescences on dead 
wood ; they are composed of compacted threads ; also 
frequent. In conclusion we would refer those of our 
readers who may be interested in microscopic mycology 
to the splendid work of the brothers Tulasne on the 
subject, in which the growth of the reproductive 
agency from the tissue, and various forms it assumes 
are most admirably figured and described, while 

Fig. 71. — Peziza vesiculai'is. 

Fig. 72. — Xylaria 

Fig. 70. — Vertical section of rhallns impudkus, 
in the young state, showing the hymenium, 
gelatinous intermediate layer, and undeveloped Fig. 73 

make out ; we refrain therefore from naming our 
specimens, and confine ourselves to remarking that 
they are black excrescences usually found on the bark 
of dead branches of trees, with carbonaceous perithecia, 
pierced at the apex and mostly papillate. The higher 
forms of these Ascomycetous fungi are represented by 
the truffle and morel. The types of other families 
belonging to the'order are Hypoxylon and Phacidium. 
Specimens of Phacidium we found upon the leaves of 
a sycamore tree at Woodford. We would also observe 
that the "perithecia " of the Ascomycetes proper must 
not be confounded with the " sporangia " of a section 
of moulds which comprise the family of the Physco- 
mycetes associated with them. These growths are 
forms which should occupy a position intermediate 
with the Hymenomycetes : the contents of these 
" sporangia " are simple spores, not sporidia. Of the 
rust, smut, mildew, mould (not physcomycetous) and 
other microscopic growths found upon vegetable 
matter of different kinds which compose the Conio- 
mycetous and Hyphomycetous orders, we have also 
two curious growths belonging to the latter, viz., 

-Asci of Peziza vesicularis ; b, sporidia : 
all magnified. 

Epping Forest, well explored, 
will afford abundant material 
for study. 

P.S. — At page 254, No. 167, 
errahcm. Pleiirotus : add, " 
lateral or excentric." 


Fig. 74. — Xylaria hypoxy- 
lon; b vertical section 
showing the perithecia ; 
c an ascus of the same 
containing sporidia. 

Stem, when present, 

* Besides these, simple cells, called gonidia, attached to simple 
filaments, have been observed in these as in most kinds of fungi. 

Note. — Pholiota aureus: said not to be the true 
species known by this name and very rare, but an 
allied form, P. spectabilis. 



THIS is the title of a paper recently read before 
the Royal Society, by Mr. T. Mellard Reade, 
C.E., F.G.S. The author showed that the geo- 
logical history of the globe is written only in it-- 
sedimentary strata, but if we trace its history back- 
wards, unless we assume absolute uniformity, wes 
arrive at a time when the first sediments resulted 
from the degradation of the original crust of the 
idobe. There is no known rock to which a geologist 



could point and say " that is the material from which 
all sedimentary rocks have been derived," but analogy 
leads us to suppose that if the earth had an igneous 
origin, the original materials upon which the elements 
first began to work were of the nature of granite or 
basalt. From a variety of considerations drawn from 
borings, mines, faults, natural gorges and proved 
thicknesses of the strata of certain mountain chains, 
the author arrives at the conclusion that the sedimen- 
tary crust of the earth is at least of an average actual 
thickness of one mile, and infers from the propor- 
tionate amount of carbonates and sulphates of lime to 
materials in suspension in various river waters flowing 
from a variety of formations, that one-tenth of the 
thickness of this crust is calcareous. Limestone rocks 
have been, geology tells us, in process of formation 
from the earliest known ages, but the extensive series 
of analyses of water made by Dr. Frankland for the 
Rivers Pollution Commission, shows that the later 
strata in Great Britain are much more calcareous than 
the earlier. The same holds true of the continent of 
Europe, and the balance of evidence seems in favour 
of the supposition that there has been on the whole a 
gradual progressive increase or evolution of lime. 
The " Challenger " soundings show that carbonate of 
lime in the form of tests of organisms is a general 
deposit characterising the greater part of the ocean 
bottoms, while the materials in suspension are, 
excepting in the case of transport by ice, deposited 
within a distance of 200 miles of land. This wider 
distribution in space of lime, the author thinks, must 
also profoundly influence its distribution in time, and 
he shows this by example and illustration. It can 
also be proved to demonstration that the greater part 
of the ocean bottom must at one time or another have 
been land, else the rocks of the continents would 
have become gradually less, instead of more, cal- 
careous. Thus the arguments drawn from the geo- 
graphical distribution of animals are reinforced by 
physical considerations. The author goes on to show 
that the area of granite and volcanic rocks in Europe 
and the part of Asia between the Caspian and the 
Black Sea, as shown in Murchison's map of Europe, 
is two-twenty-fifths (^) of the whole ; much of this 
is probably remelted sediments and some of the 
granites the product of metamorphism. From con- 
siderations stated at length it is estimated that the 
area of exposures of igneous to sedimentary rocks 
would be for all geological time liberally averaged at 
one-tenth (■}$) of the whole. These igneous rocks are 
either the original materials of the globe protruded 
upwards, or they are melted sediments] or a mixture 
of the two. The only igneous rocks we know of are 
of the nature of granites and traps. If these rocks do 
not constitute the substratum of the earth, and all 
known rocks, igneous as well as sedimentary, are 
derivative, either geological time is infinite, or the 
rock from which they are derived is, so far as we know, 
annihilated geologically speaking, and we have no re- 

cords of it left. If we assume the latter as true, the past 
is immeasurable, but in order to arrive at a minimum 
age of the earth, the author starts from the hypothesis 
that the fundamental rocks were granitic and trappean. 
From eighteen analyses by Dr. Frankland, it is shown 
that the water flowing from granitic and igneous rock 
districts in Great Britain contains on an average 373 
parts per 100,000 of sulphates and carbonates of lime. 
The amount of water that runs off the ground is 
given for several of the great continental river basins 
in Europe, Asia, Africa, and America. The annual 
depth of rain running off the granitic and igneous 
rock areas, taking into consideration the greater 
height at which they usually lie and the possibility of 
greater rainfall in earlier ages, is averaged at twenty- 
eight inches, and the annual contribution of lime in 
solution in the forms of carbonates and sulphates at 
seventy tons per square mile. With these elements, 
and giving due weight to certain physical considera- 
tions that have been urged in limitation of the earth's 
age, the author proceeds to his calculations, arriving 
at this result, that the elimination of the calcareous 
matter contained in the sedimentary crust of the 
earth must have occupied at least 600 millions of 
years. The actual time occupied in the formation 
of the groups of strata as divided into relative ages 
by Professor Ramsay, is inferred as follows : — 

Millions of years. 
Laurentian, Cambrian, and Silurian . . . 200 
Old Red, Carboniferous, Permian, and New- 
Red 200 

Jurassic, Wealden, Cretaceous, Eocene, Mi- 
ocene, Pliocene, and Post-pliocene . . 200 


The concluding part of the paper consists of 
answers to objections. The author contends that 
the facts adduced prove geological time to be 
enormously in excess of the limits urged by some 
physicists, and ample to allow on the hypothesis of 
evolution for all the changes which have taken place 
in the organic world. 


THIS term — used in botanical works to express a 
consecutive series of phases exhibited in a 
marked manner by most flowerless plants before 
reaching maturity- — is a very unfortunate one, imply- 
ing that each form in the series is "an individual, which 
is erroneous. The following description of the suc- 
cessive stages in the growth of a fern shows what the 
term "alternation of generations" is intended to 
convey. The spore, under favourable conditions, 
gives origin to a minute green leaf-like body called a 
prothallium or proembryo, bearing antheridia and 
archegonia (the former corresponding to the stamens, 
the latter to the pistil in flowering plants), the last 
containing a special cell, the oospore, which after 



fertilisation with the antherozoids that have been 
produced by the antheridia (corresponding functionally 
with the pollen of flowering plants), germinates and 
gives origin to a fern plant which produces spores, 
each capable of giving origin to a similar cycle of 
changes. In this case there are two so-called genera- 
tions, the first commencing with the germination of 
the spore and terminating with the production of the 
fertilised oospore, at which period the prothallium 
perishes, this is styled the sexual generation, because 
the oospore — equivalent to the fertilised ovule in 
flowering plants — is the direct result of fertilisation ; 
the second generation commences with the germina- 
tion of the oospore and ends with the production of 
spores on the fern plant, this is the asexual generation, 
because the spore is not the result of direct fertilisa- 
tion, and when sown could not give origin to a fern 
plant without previously producing the sexual pro- 
thalloid form. In this instance we have clearly re- 
presented only one generation, not two ; when once 
growth has commenced with the spore it goes on un- 
interruptedly until another spore is formed, the fer- 
tilised oospore, which is said to terminate the first 
generation, not possessing the power of remaining in 
a state of dormant vitality, as is the case with the 
seeds of flowering plants, and which marks the end 
of the individual that gave origin to the seed, but 
this property is possessed by the fern spore, therefore 
one generation includes all the changes from the 
germination of a spore until the production of another 
similar one. The term "alternation of generations," 
so far as concerns the vegetable kingdom, simply 
expresses the fact that when active life has commenced, 
a series of changes in form and function must be 
passed through before the starting-point can be again 
reached, or in other words before a body capable of 
giving origin to a similar cycle can be repeated. In 
fungi the "generations" are frequently several in 
number, but they do not always follow in the same 
order, the appearance of any one appears to be deter- 
mined by surrounding causes, so that the plant 
possesses the property of repeating itself under widely 
different conditions. In ferns we have seen that the 
sexual generation is microscopic and disappears — 
except the oosphere — before the appearance of the 
large asexual form or fern proper ; in mosses, on the 
contrary, the sexual generation — the leafy part of the 
plant — is largest and frequently perennial, giving origin 
to several asexual generations — the capsules. The terms 
prothallus or pro-embryo are vaguely defined, the 
latter signifying everything produced anterior to the 
embryo, consequently when a bulbil of Liliitm bulbi- 
fertim developes into a plant the whole represents 
a pro-embryo, as would also a potato plant origina- 
ting from a tuber, both would also be examples 
of asexual generations, whereas plants produced 
from seeds of the above "would constitute the sexual 

G. E. Massee. 

By John Davies, F.R.M.S. 

FISH parasites are a subdivision of the Entomo- 
straca, and are divided into several species, 
viz. : The Caligulus, having a sucking mouth and a 
regular series of legs. They are sometimes called 
"suctorial Crustacea." The Argulidre, which prin- 
cipally infest fresh-water fish. The body is covered 
with an oval shell, the abdomen is exposed. It has a 
pair of sucking discs, or feet-jaws, and four pairs of 
legs more or less articulated and generally plumose. 
These parasites undergo a number of remarkable 
changes and cast their shells at frequent intervals. If 
a limb is lost it is replaced at the next moult, same as 
crabs, lobsters, &c. These castings take place at 
intervals of two or three days during some periods of 
the year. The Argulidse are mostly found on fish in 
a weakly state, or on those that have met with some 
accident, which causes them to be more than usually 
sluggish ; or on those that are by nature inert. The 
carp offers a striking example of the latter class, and 
the fact of its being more than usually infested has 
given rise to a proverb. I do not think the fish suffer 
in any way from the presence of these creatures — on the 
contrary, if they feed on cutaneous secretions, it must 
benefit their host, from a " hygienic point of view." 

These parasitic Crustacea are very quick in their 
movements over their hosts, being able to travel back- 
wards and forwards with equal facility. Their peculiar 
mode of swimming has been described as a "series of 
tumblings over and over, and darts in a straight line 
with great rapidity." The fish seem to have a great 
aversion to these messmates as an article of food, for 
if by chance one gets down the throat of a fish it 
immediately ejects it again, and would rather starve 
than eat it. The female has generally two long 
oviferous tubes for depositing her eggs (see Article 
in Science-Gossip, page 33, vol. 1878). 

When the young animal comes forth it resembles 
the Cyclops, and by successive moultings attains the 
adult form. These metamorphoses do not apply to 
the males, as they scarcely alter in form and only 
slightly increase in size. 

It is a curious fact that most of these animals when 
first hatched bear a great resemblance to the creatures 
immediately below them in point of organisation. Their 
cast-off shells, after being cleaned by the myriads of 
minute scavengers (Monads) form most beautiful 
objects for the microscope. They should be examined 
with the half-inch objective in conjunction with the 
spot lens, and as permanent objects can be preserved 
in a solution of chloride of calcium, or glycerine-jelly. 

There is a great difficulty in examining these small 
Crustacea as they soon perish after leaving their native 
element, and in fact they seem bent on committing 
self-destruction, as they generally climb out of the 
vessel in which they are placed, and soon end their 
existence. The Caligulus was first-mentioned by 



Baldner, a self-taught naturalist (a fisherman) of 
Strassburg, about 1700. In 1740, Frisch, in his 
" Insecten in Deutschland," describes it as Fisch-laus. 
Linnseus in his " Systema Naturse," mentions it as the 
Monoculus foliaceus. The best description, however, 
is given in " Ann. et Mus. d'Hist. Nat." for 1806, and 
at the present time this article is largely quoted. The 
Argulus was first noticed about fifty years after the 
Caligulus, and several mistakes seem to have been 
made, one author actually mistaking the tail for the 
head. This was a pardonable blunder, as the use of 
the microscope was little known in those days. It, 
however, led to a great amount of confusion, as each 
writer, copying the remarks of those before him, 

six layers of bronchial lamellae finely marked, and are 
used for sucking the juices of the fish, or from the 
mucous products secreted by the skin. Between 
these suckers is a round sinus, whose functions I do 
not know ; from near this opening commences the 
alimentary canal, which runs through the centre of the 
parasite, throwing off "coecal prolongations," and 
terminating between the caudal appendages, where is 
situated the cloaca. 

The primary canal contains the oesophagus, stomach, 
and intestines. Below the sucking discs is a pair of 
foot-jaws serrated in their inner edges, which are used 
for masticating the food. In the centre of these jaws 
is situated the mouth. Leydig describes the mouth 

Fig. 75. — Parasite of wrasse (ventral view) 
i inch. 


Fig. 76. — Sucker of 

parasite of wrasse ; 

X 310. 

caused an accumulation of errors. Milne-Edwards' 
" Hist. Nat. des Crus." gives a full and good descrip- 
tion in 1840, and since that time several American 
and Continental writers have greatly increased our 
knowledge on the subject. 

The following is a description of two minute para- 
sitic Crustacea which were taken from living specimens, 
and which differ in some particulars from any hitherto 
recorded. They give but a vague idea of the wonder- 
ful organisation and beauty of form of these minute 
beings, which are so perfectly adapted to perform all 
the functions designed by Providence for these lowly 

This parasite (fig. 75) is oval and slightly convexed. 
It is divided into two parts, the thorax and the 
abdomen ; the thorax coalesces with the hind part, 
which is sometimes, but erroneously, called the tail. 
The posterior part contains the swimming-legs. In 
this individual the thorax is composed of a shelly 
carapace strengthened by a series of bands diverging 
from the centre. This shell extends to about three- 
fourths of the length of the parasite. The remainder 
consists of four segments of a soft sarcode interspersed 
with small pink puncta. 

The last pair of segments has a distinct band which 
serves to divide it transversely. A pair of sternal 
forks is placed at the termination of the abdomen. 
The cephalo-thorax is composed of a shelly trans- 
parent substance, and according to Pickering and 
Dana, is formed of two layers or substances. The 
head is blunted and contains a pair of antennae, 
which in some individuals is at right-angles, and in 
others is turned upwards. Between these antennae 
and the centre of the head is a pair of lunules or 
sucking-discs (see fig. 76) which are composed of about 

Fig. 77. 

-Parasite of bass (ventral 
view) ; X 25. 

in the Argulus foliaceus as follows : " The opening of 
the mouth is placed in a club-shaped projection bent 
downwards. It is divided posteriorly by a crescent- 
shaped lower lip, anteriorly and laterally by two broad 
gradually tapering plates, several disc-like pieces 
inside representing the mandibles."* M. T. Thowell 
observed " two small teeth." 

A little below the gullet is a pair of thoracic feet 
graduating from the carapace to the termination, and 
curved so as almost to meet at their extremities. 
These legs are covered with a series of triangular 
scales, which gives them the appearance of being 
irregularly segmentated. Under these locomotive 
appendages is another pair, much thinner and turned 
towards the posterior. Between the shell and the 
abdominal part is a pair of fan-shaped fins composed 
of six cartilaginous ossicles and covered with a fine 
membrane. These parasites have two simple oval 
eyes. This Caligulus was taken from the Green 
Wrasse {Labrus lineatus). Colour, opal white, with 
dark crimson markings. Fig. 77 is an individual of 
the genus Argulidse ; there are only two or three 
species known. It is of a pale green colour and 
about -jL inch each way, being nearly round. The 
membranous carapace is covered with a peculiar 
V-shaped marking, and forms a shield over the whole 
of the body. The fore-part is obtusely round, it has 
a pair of perfect eyes, very dark and brilliant ; 

* On the "Morphology of the Argulidae," 1866. 



antennae above the eyes, short and pointed, and 
are scarcely seen. Between the eyes commences the 
alimentary canal, which leads to a long oval dark 
mass, which is supposed to contain the mouth, 
oesophagus, &c. 

Situated on either side of the optic nerves is a pair 
of remarkable organs which are both legs and 
suckers, according to Dr. Baird* they are: "The 
anterior pair or second pair of foot-jaws, and of a 
peculiar construction. They are in the form of short 
hollow flexible cylinders .... having a membranous 
margin and figured all round with membranous rays 
.... by this organisation the animal can make use 
of them as real suckers or cupping glasses and fasten 
itself to the fish on which it lives, and also to walk 
with when it wishes to change its position. By con- 
tracting these muscles it can exhaust the cavity of the 
sucking disc, producing a vacuum, and this enables 
it to adhere firmly to the surface upon which it is 
placed." By Dana and Herrick they are called 
"prehensile feet." About midway are placed two 
pairs of long and beautifully formed legs, and further 
below are four more pairs also plumosed and carried 
towards the posterior. 

The abdomen consists of a pair of lobed oval 
appendages, or perhaps egg-corpuscles, and are marked 
with longitudinal lines about eight in number. 

At the commencement of these ovate organs are 
two bright crimson star-shaped markings which are 
said not to be observable in the male. Between 
these appendages terminates the intestine canal, and 
here is situated the anal orifice. 

This species was found on the gill of the Bass 
\Labrax lupus). 


I SHOULD like to draw the attention of students 
of the Arachnoida to a minute mite, which 
I have frequently found parasitic on the Gamasi 
infesting queen humble bees. I first noticed it, I 
think, in the spring of 1877. I suppose it must be 
the Hypopus (whatever that may be) of Gamasus, but 
it differs so remarkably from all other Hypopi that 
I have seen, or indeed from all other mites with 
which I am acquainted, that I should like to know 
more about it. I have found as many as seven 
specimens on a single Gamasus. The humble bee 
on which I first found it in 1878 was the Bombus 
vh-ginalis of Kirby. It moves about on its host with 
tolerable speed, giving one an idea of a pigmy tor- 
toise ; it is covered with a shield of a brownish-yellow 
colour, like some specimens of resin, shining, and very 
evidently divided into an anterior or cephalic, and 
posterior or dorsal portion. The legs are very re- 

markable, the anterior pair being rather short, broad 
and flattened, and each front leg is provided with a 
peculiar and large single claw, like that found on the 
three first pairs of legs of Trichodactylus Osmice, from 
which mite it differs also, in having the chitinous 
shield, instead of the corrugated skin so characteristic 
of the Sarcoptidre. The second and third pair of 
legs are much finer, rather longer, and furnished 
with a double claw and large pad. The hind legs 
terminate in a few long stiff hairs, somewhat like 
Trichodactylus, only in that creature there is but a 
single terminal hair to each hind leg. The mouth 

Fig. 78. — Mite from Gamasus of Humble 
bee ; X about 220. 

Fig. 79. — Front leg (a) with claw, middle feet f^and pad, and 
hind leg (c) of Gamasus. 

' Natural History of British Entomostraca." 

Fig. 80. — Scale, xitao inch. 

parts I have not been able to make out satisfactorily, 
but it appears to be furnished with two bristles, as in 
Hypopus muscarum. The abdomen gives one an idea 
of segmentation. 

The readiest way of finding them, is, first to catch 
the early queen humble bees when they frequent 
the catkins of the sallow : these are almost invariably 
invested with the desired Gamasus (which is exactly 
like G. coleoptratorum). Place one of the bees 
under a wine-glass, or tumbler, and introduce a 
small piece of blotting paper moistened with hydro- 
cyanic acid. This will speedily kill the bee, but 

* Their structure is simple and fructification though various 
in power, always sporiferous. _ 



before it is quite dead, the Gamasi will leave it, and 
run about in all directions ; as soon as they are 
stupified, examine them one by one under the 
microscope, when the hypopi if present, will be 
found attached to some portion of the Gamasus, and 
may be removed, with care and some trouble, by using 
a dissecting needle. On placing one or more on a 
glass slip, and waiting a little while, it will be found 
that they are not dead (unless they have been exposed 
to the vapour of the acid for too long a time) and 
when they come round, they will walk with tolerable 
ease on the glass, although the front pair of legs are 
of very little use to them under such circumstances ; 
and this is the most favourable time for observing 
the large claw, for in walking on glass it is protruded 
a little way beyond the shield. When alive on the 
Gamasus they cling to it by means of these large claws, 
and in this state, the claw or fc leg will often be torn off 
in trying to remove them with the needle. 

I have not the works of Dujardin or Claparede 
on this subject ; but if any reader of Science-Gossip 
possesses them, and would kindly lend them to me 
for a short time, I would take great care of them, 
and gladly pay the carriage of them both ways. 

Kirtoti Lindsey. C. F. George. 

By H. G. Glasspoole. 

RHUBARB is a plant belonging to the Poly- 
gonacese, the same order as the common dock 
and buckwheat, to the latter family of which it belongs. 
The use of the roots of this plant for medicinal pur- 
poses is of great antiquity, and it is uncertain to 
whom mankind are indebted for the discoveries of 
its virtues. Its valuable properties appear to have 
-been known to the Chinese long before the Christian 
era, as it is stated in the Pharmacographic that this 
drug is treated of in the herbal called Pen King, 
which is attributed to the Emperor Shen-mung, the 
father of Chinese agriculture and medicine, who 
reigned about 2700 B.C. Dioscorides, physician to 
Antony and Cleopatra, wrote on its qualities, and 
recommended it against weakness of the stomach, 
diseases of the liver ; and as an external remedy, he 
mentions it as a cure for ringworm, if it be mixed 
with vinegar and the place be anointed with it. 
Dioscorides says the rha, by some called rheon, grows 
in those countries which are beyond the Bosphorus, 
and from which it is brought. It is a root which is 
black externally, like the great centaury, but smaller, 
redder, odourless, loose or spongy, and somewhat 
smooth internally. The Greek physicians of a later 
date, as Alexander of Tralles, and Paulus, of ^Egina, 
have written upon its virtues ; and Pliny gives a 
similar account as that of Dioscorides to a plant 
which he calls rhacoma. The ancient Arabs were 
acquainted with this plant ; one of their authors, 

Mesne the younger, mentions three kinds — the Indian, 
the Barbarian, and the Turkish. The recommenda- 
tions of the medicinal virtues of this root by later 
practitioners would fill many volumes ; as an article 
of commerce it has been of considerable importance 
for many centuries. All the species of rhubarb are 
natives of Asia, and grow spontaneously on the 
elevated lands of Tartary, Tibet, India, &c, and 
also on the banks of the Volga. We have no account 
of this plant being cultivated in England before 1629, 
although it is stated in some of our old works on 
gardening that the leaves of rhubarb were commonly 
used as a pot-herb in the reign of Elizabeth, and 
considered superior to spinach. Tusser also men- 
tions it as a medicinal plant for the " Herbe garden ;" 
this was no doubt monk's rhubarb, mentioned by 
Gerard as grown in his garden and others in London and 
elsewhere for the use of " phisick " and " chirurgerie." 
He calls it " Rhubarbanim monachomm, Monks' 
rhubarb. " f This plant did not belong to any species of 
rheum, but appears to be Rumex alpinus, an Alpine 
dock which grows in Switzerland and Germany, the 
root being more astringent than purgative, is used by 
the monks of the Alps to adulterate the true drug. 
Although we have no account of the cultivation of 
rhubarb before the date previously mentioned, the 
seeds of the plant appear to have been sent to this 
country as early as 1534, for in a postscript of a 
letter of the above date, from that eccentric physician 
Andrew Broide (or Brode) to Cromwell, secretary of 
state to Henry VIII., he says, ' ' I have sent to your 
Mastership the seeds of reuberbe, the which came out 
of Barbary. In those parts it is considered a great 
treasure." He also gives directions for sowing and 
transplanting the roots, at least two hundred years 
before the cultivation of it was known in England.* 

Rheum rhaponticum, the common garden rhubarb, 
was first grown in this country in 1629 by Parkinson, 
who informs us that the seeds were sent him from 
beyond the seas by a worthy gentleman named Dr. 
Matt Lister, one of the king's physicians, and first 
grew with him before it was ever seen or known 
elsewhere in England, f but it was only grown as a 
curiosity or for medicinal purposes, and was not 
generally cultivated : as we find Professor Bradley, in 
his " Husbandry and Gardening," published in 1724, 
saying, " I could wish that we could get some of the 
true rhubarb, if possible, for this has not yet been 
grown in Europe as I could ever find, though once I 
remember the late ingenious Mr. Jacob Robart thought 
he had got it." 

Rheum palmatum, another species grown in gardens, 
was first introduced in 1763 by Dr. Mounsey, who 
procured the seeds from Russia. The plants were 
grown in the botanical gardens of Edinburgh and 
Cambridge, from thence they were quickly dispersed 

* Ellis, "Original Letters," 3 ser. vol. ii. p. 300. 
t "Parad." 4 S 4 . 



over the island. Fennant, in his second tour in 
Scotland, 1769, mentions having seen large quantities 
of rhubarb being cultivated on the wild tracts of 
that country by way of trial to see if it would succeed 
as well there as in manured soils. 

Mr. Charles Bryant, of Norwich, gives an interesting 
paper in the "Gentleman's Magazine," 1766, p. 444, 
on a plant of R. palmatum, grown in his garden in 
Magdnlen Street. After giving a botanical description 
of it, he proceeds to say that about the end of May 
the flowers were almost all blown to the very top of 
the flower-stem, and the whole consummated a 
scene which not only merited the inspection of the 
curious botanist, but gave delight to the delicate eye 
of the most luxurious florist. The seed that pro- 
duced this plant was sown in the open ground in the 
botanic garden here (Norwich), April, 1763, where it 
stood and flourished till November, 1765, when it 
was taken up. A piece of its root came off, which 
was copiously stored with a fine thickish saffron- 
coloured juice of a very agreeable aroma to smell, 
so volatile that it scented the whole garden. Half- 
an-ounce of this fresh root, thinly sliced and steeped 
twenty-four hours in half-a-pint of gin, made a most 
agreeable sparkling saffron-coloured tincture, about 
half a gill of which, taken upon an empty stomach, 
was found a very good cordial. 

R. rhaponticum was largely cultivated for me- 
dicinal purposes at Banbury, Oxfordshire, in 1 777? 
by Mr. Hayward, who was rewarded by the Society 
of Arts in 1 789 with a silver, and in 1 794 with a gold, 
medal for the excellency of the drug he produced. 
The same society also presented Sir W. Fordyce a 
gold medal for raising rhubarb from seeds in 1792. 

It was not, however, until the beginning of the 
present century that the stalks of rhubarb became an 
article of commercial importance in the London and 
other vegetable markets in the kingdom. About 
1810, Mr. Myatt, of Deptford, sent two of his sons to 
the Borough market with five bunches of rhubarb 
stalks, of which they only sold three, people not 
liking what they called physic pies. Notwithstanding, 
Myatt continued its cultivation. As he predicted, it 
soon became a favourite ; and now hundreds of tons' 
weight of rhubarb are sold in Covent Garden in the 
course of the year, and what amount in other markets 
all over the country it is impossible to calculate. 

The various uses of this plant in the kitchen de- 
partment is well known. The petioles in the spring 
and early summer are employed in tarts, &c, and 
when the leaf stalks are too old for cooking, the 
express juice from them is manufactured into a wine 
closely resembling champagne ; indeed, much of the 
common champagne drunk in this country is often 
nothing more than a preparation from the stalks of 
rhubarb and the fruit of the gooseberry. The large 
globular pouch of unopened flowers when cooked as 
rhubarb form a dish of great delicacy. Its chemical 
composition is very complicated, and chemists have 

failed to discover any peculiar principle in the drug 
which fully accounts for its purgative properties. 
The analyses of Schlossberger and Dbpping discovered 
a variety of new principles in it, among which was 
chrysophanic acid, a beautiful yellow substance emit- 
ting yellow vapours when heated, soluble in alcohol, 
its alkaline solution changing by evaporation to a 
violet and then to a blue. Magnificent purples also 
are obtained from the yellow colouring matter pro- 
duced by heating rhubarb with nitric acid and then 
with alkalies, and it has been proposed to apply 
these, called ery those in the arts, as a dry stuff.* 
Bryant tells us a decoction made from the fresh roots 
of rhubarb is an excellent antiscorbutic, and in this 
respect is no way excelled, if equalled, by a decoction 
of the so much celebrated water dock, Rumex\hy- 
drolapatJutm, which is still in the present day taken 
for scorbutic diseases by the rustics in the Broad 
districts of the eastern counties. The poor in some 
parts of Scotland are said to apply heated rhubarb 
leaves to parts affected by rheumatism, which they say 
gives ease to the pain. The leaves are said to be used 
in the fabrication of fictitious cigars and tobacco. 

To the botanical microscopist the rhubarb supplies 
excellent specimens of spiral fibrous structures, as 
spiral annular and reticulated vessels and ducts, the 
petioles, leaves, and roots contain bundles of stellate 
raphides, oxalate of lime (which gives a grittiness to 
the drug), which make beautiful objects for polarized 
light. The original species of R. rhapouticum, un- 
dulatum, and R. palmatum have now been super- 
seded in our gardens by hybrid varieties possessing 
the merits of larger size, delicacy in texture, and 
coming earlier into use. 

Rheum officinale, from which the drug is obtained, 
was first grown in this country by the late Daniel 
Ilanbury, F.R.S., who sent specimens to Mr. Usher, 
of Banbury, where it is now being cultivated for 
medicinal uses. This species is a native of the south- 
east of Tibet. Some species of rhubarb are highly 
ornamental in many situations in pleasure grounds, 
&c, their luxuriant foliage and tall elegant spikes 
and flowers contrasting so singularly with most of our 
native plants. The generic name rheum is derived 
from rha, the ancient name of the river Volga, 
from which locality it is supposed the Greeks first 
received it. 

Field Mouse and Bees.— I keep several hives of 
bees, and have placed pieces of perforated zinc about 
three-quarters of an inch broad at the mouth or door of 
each hive to prevent vermin, but the other day on 
going to look after the bees, I found a field mouse had 
entangled itself in the zinc in coming out of the hive ; 
it was dead, and appears caught by its hind quarters, 
and I suppose stung to death by the bees. Is not 
this a very curious circumstance? — J. Lloyd Phelps. 

* See Ripley and Dane, " American Cyclopaedia." 

8 4 



By Major Lang. 

WHILST residing lately at Torquay, I carefully 
studied the exterior organs of Echinus 
miliar is, which is to be found there in considerable 
abundance, under the stones at low water off Corbon 
Head. I allude more especially to its ambulacral 
suckers and those curious and little-understood 
appendages, the pedicellarise. 

If a dead and dry specimen of Echinus, popularly 
called the sea-urchin or hedgehog, is examined by 
a novice, he is at a loss to'jmderstand how the 
little creature is enabled to creep, as it does, under 
and over the rocks and stones in its native element. 

Its calcareous shell is entirely covered and almost 
hidden by sharp-pointed spines, whilst the mouth, 

ambulacral perforations that the tubular sarcodic 
tentacles, surmounted by their sucker-like disc, are 
attached ; each of the five plates or segments of the 
test are covered with tubercles arranged in longitu- 
dinal rows, the summit of each tubercle being sur- 
mounted with a polished nipple, on which the base 
of the spine, which is slightly hollowed out for the 
purpose, rests, so that they form together a perfect 
ball and socket joint, employed therefore by nature 
long before man had ever adopted it. 

Having learnt thus much it will be well to go down 
to the shore during low water, and obtain some living 
specimens, which, as the creatures are tolerably 
tenacious of life, can be brought home in some fresh 
seaweed. A bottle of sea water must be also pro- 
cured. On arriving at home, put the Echini in a 
white soup plate and pour in the salt water. The 
beautiful lilac and green tints of the spines, as they 
languidly move in their sockets, willbe'first observed, 

Fig. 81. — PediceV.aria triphylla, &c. of Echinus miliaris. 

Fig. 82. — Pediccllaria /riiictts. a. calcareous stem, b. extensile neck, c. head. 

which is placed on the under side, is surrounded by a 
naked membrane. But if he looks carefully with a 
pocket lens he will perceive, between the bases of the 
spines, and more especially between those nearest the 
mouth and on the periphery of the buccal membrane, 
a great number of very minute discs apparently 
attached to or resting on the shell. These are in 
reality the organs of locomotion, the ambulacral 
suckers, which the animal can protrude far beyond 
the extremities of the spines by a method which will 
be explained presently. Now if he will rub off the 
spines, which he can easily do, he will see that the 
test or shell is composed of five wedge-shaped seg- 
ments, the apices of which meet at the top, and that 
dividing these, or joining them, if you please, are five 
ribs, each of which is furnished with two rows of 
puncta or holes completely perforating the shell, as 
can be proved by simply holding it up to the light 
and looking through its interior ; and it is on these 

and then many of the ambulacral suckers will be 
seen extended far beyond these by their diaphanous 
sarcodic tubes. The slightest touch will cause them 
to retract, but with a sharp pair of scissors that por- 
tion of the tubes beyond the spines with its suckers 
may be cut off, the tube however shrinking up into 
almost nothing towards the suckers. Remove this to 
a watch glass into which a few drops of water have 
been placed, and examine it under the microscope, 
when it will be seen that the sucker is strengthened 
by an interior circular skeleton, and that the tube ha& 
fallen into corrugated folds. Replace the water by 
some liquor potassse, and let the specimen soak in it 
for a day or two. The potass will act upon and 
destroy the sarcode, and a beautifully reticulated 
calcareous disc or rosette with a scolloped margin and 
central orifice, like a delicate piece of network will be 
revealed, composed of from three to seven wedge- 
shaped segments, which, if the action of the potass be 



much longer prolonged, will be separated from each 
other. There are a vast number of these ambu- 
lacral suckers on the entire test, and by their aid the 
creature not only drags itself along, but anchors itself 
to the rocks, and so tenaciously, that it requires con- 
siderable force to detach it ; indeed, sooner than let 
go its hold, I have found that it will allow the 
suckers and tubes to be torn from it, and they have 
been left on the bottom of the plate to which it had 
been clinging. In fact this is the best way of obtain- 
ing specimens for microscopic investigation. By 
means of those on the upper portion of the shell the 
animal is able to right itself if thrown on what we 
may call its back, and by their aid also it can, and 
does often, completely cover itself with pieces of sea- 
weed, for the purpose, I presume, of concealment 
from its enemies. 

The method by which these suckers are extended 
or retracted at the creature's will is interesting. In the 

muscular bag filled with fluid is attached to the same. 
When the sucker is to be protruded the muscles of 
the interior bag contract, whilst the longitudinal ones 
of the tube are relaxed, and consequently the fluid 
expelled from the bag passes through the Vo pores 
and entering the tube extends it. When it is to be 
retracted, the process is of course reversed ; the 
longitudinal muscles of the tube contracting, whilst 
those of the bag relax, so that the fluid can re-enter it. 

I need scarcely remark that in the sucker of the 
Echinus we have another example of a mechanical 
power in nature that has existed for ages, and that it 
has been unconsciously reproduced in the school-boys' 
well-known leathern sucker. 

Let us now turn our attention to those extraordinary 
appendages, the pedicellariae, which have always been, 
and still are, a puzzle to naturalists. What their 
functions may be, and what use they are to the 
animal, is still a question which will be alluded to 

' - M 

Fig. 83. — Fedicellaria globifera. 

Fig. 84. — Fedicellaria stci-cophylla, open and closed. 

first place it may be seen under the microscope that the 
tubes are furnished with both longitudinal and annular 
muscles, the former for lengthening and shortening 
them, the latter for increasing or diminishing their 
calibre. I have said that there are five pairs of 
ambulacral rows of pores. Now if a portion of one of 
these meridianal primary rows is carefully examined, 
it will be found to consist of numerous subordinate 
diagonal ones, each of which is made up of three 
pairs of pores. The tube of the sucker covers and 
embraces one of these pairs, and within the test a 

Fig. 85.— Single blade of 
Fig. 81. (Fedicellaria 

presently. I will only remark, 
here that similar organs are 
found in some of the star- 
fishes, and in a few of the 
polyzoa. The Echinus has no 
less than four different kinds 
of pedicellarias, distinguished 
by the names of Triphylla, 
Tridens, Globifera, and Ste- 
reophylla. I have found them 
all, with the exception of 
Globifera, on the naked mem- 
brane surrounding the mouth, 
the latter seems to be con- 
fined to the bases of the spines, whilst Triphylla, by 
far the most abundant, is also scattered generally over 
every portion of the shell. Although the form and 
size of the different species differ considerably, their 
general plan and structure are identical. A calcareous 
and more or less fibrous stem, enlarged at either end 
like a double drum-stick, is anchored at its base to the 
naked membrane round the mouth, or to the shell by 
its sarcodic envelope, which, clothing the entire length 
of the stem, protrudes far beyond its free end, except 
in the case of Globifera, forming an extensile flexible 



neck on the top of which i^perched the'head, consisting 
of three beautifully reU'culated forceps-like blades or 
jaws, armed, except in the smallest kind, Stereophylla, 
with strong sharp serrated teeth. In Globifera the 
head is placed directly on the stem without any inter- 
vening neck. In their natural state these calcareous 
head?, as well as the stems, are clothed with a sarcodic 
covering, especially abundant and dilated in Globifera. 
But when treated with potass this is dissolved, and 
the skeletons only left. 

It is an interesting experiment to cut out with a pair 
of scissors, which can be easily done, the membranous 
portion surrounding the mouth of the Echinus, and 
detaching it from the five prominent teeth protruding 
through it, and familiarly known by the fanciful name 
of Aristotle's Lantern, to place it in some sea-water on 
a glass slip under the microscope. The animal must be 
undoubtedly dead, but on the severed portion under 
examination the pedicellarise will be seen still in a 
lively condition, bending their extensile necks in every 
direction, and opening and shutting their three- 
bladed jaws. 

I have now only to add a few words on the possible 
functions of these pedicellarire, though nothing is 
known conclusively on the subject. Their first dis- 
coverers considered them to be parasites perfectly 
independent of their hosts ; but this cannot be the 
case for various reasons, as in the first place they are 
invariably present in the same numbers and in the 
same position, which would not be the case were they 
adventitious ; and secondly their skeletons are formed 
of precisely the same material and on exactly the same 
structural plan as that of the creature's test on which 
they rest ; whilst the sarcodic envelope surrounding 
them is a mere continuation of that which clothes the 
entire shell as well as the spines upon it. Perhaps 
the best suggestion as to their use is, that they catch 
and hold in their grasp the small crustaceans swim- 
ming past, and that these, dying and decaying, attract 
around them clouds of minute infusoria, which event- 
ually become the prey of the Echinus ; but this is a 
mere theory which must be taken for what it is 


Cement for Glycerine.— Every one who has 
had much experience in microscopy recognises the 
extreme value of glycerine as a mounting medium, 
but the evil reputation it enjoys for "leaking" has 
much restricted its use. The cements in common 
use are not to be relied upon. Dammar varnish, so 
strongly recommended by some, becomes so saturated 
and softened that after a few months, cover, specimen 
and cement may often be wiped off the slide with the 
greatest ease. Even good gold size is not safe, and I 
believe chiefly for the reason that many bad specimens 
of this varnish are in the market. Having experienced 

much inconvenience from the want of a reliable 
cement, I am glad to believe that I have at length 
succeeded in obtaining one. The description is to be 
found in Dr. Marsh's book on " Section Cutting" (a 
notice of which you gave recently), and as the in- 
formation will doubtless be welcome to many besides 
myself, I send you the following extract, which 
perhaps you may consider worthy of preservation in 
your pages. ' ' The great drawback to the use of 
glycerine is the extreme difficulty experienced in 
preventing its escape from beneath the covering- 
glass, for it unfortunately possesses such great pene- 
trating power that no cement hitherto devised can 
be thoroughly depended upon for withstanding its 
solvent action for any considerable length of time. 
Attention to the instructions however presently 
to be given will however reduce this risk of leak- 
age to a minimum : after clearing away all super- 
fluous glycerine from round the cover, with a 
very small camel's-hair pencil, charged with solu- 
tion of gelatine, a ring must be made round the 
margin of the cover of sufficient breadth to take in 
both cover and slide. As this cement is perfectly 
miscible with glycerine, it readily unites with any of 
that fluid which may ooze from beneath the cover 
and which in the case of any of the ordinary varnishes 
would act as a fatal obstacle to perfect adhesion. To 
make the cement, take 5 oz. of Nelson's opaque 
gelatine, put it in a small beaker, add sufficient cold 
water to cover it, and allow, the mixture to remain 
until the gelatine has become thoroughly soaked. 
The water is now pouted off and heat applied until 
the gelatine becomes fluid, when three drops of 
creosote should be well stirred in and the fluid 
mixture transferred to a small bottle to solidify. 
Before use this compound must be rendered liquid by 
immersing the bottle containing it in a cup of warm 
water. When the ring of gelatine has become quite 
set and dry (which will not take long) every trace of 
glycerine must be carefully removed from the cover 
and its neighbourhood by gently swabbing these parts 
with a large camel's-hair pencil dipped in methylated 
spirit. After drying the slide, a ring of Bell's micro- 
scopical cement may be applied over the gelatine, and 
when this is dry another coat is to be laid on. If 
it be desired to give to the slide a neat and tasteful 
appearance it is a very easy matter by means of the 
turntable to lay on a final ring of Brunswick black or 
white zinc cement." — William Briars, Hackney. 

Microscope Improvements. — In an important 
paper recently read before the Chichester National 
History and Microscopical Society, on "Microscopes," 
Mr. F. J. Freeland reviewed the most noteworthy 
improvements which have been made in objectives, 
both at home and abroad, within the last five years. 
Among other subjects, he said that "a new eighth 
and a twelfth, designed by Professor Abbe, for use 
with oil of cedar, and, to obviate screw collar adjust- 



ment, for varying thickness of cover glass, upon 
objects, is very highly spoken of by leading English 
observers. If this work without counterbalancing 
objections, a revolution in the future of objectives 
may be expected. The object must be somewhat 
specially mounted. Danger that the fluids may inter- 
mingle under necessary traversing when a living 
object in water is examined with a water immersion 
lens is not \ lessened by oil substituted, and Mr. 
Dallinger rejoices that high power English dry 
lenses, usually, suffice for investigation of minutest 
living things, from the study of which, as he remarks, 
so much may be anticipated."^ 

Mounting Polyzoa, &c— Mr. Thomas Lisle, of 
Wolverhampton, gives in the " Midland Naturalist" 
for March, the following process for mounting these 
objects: — "Place the polyzoa in a deep cell with 
some of the pond water ; let them remain undisturbed 
until they have expanded their tentacles, then 
suddenly let fall a drop of alcohol into the cell. 
This kills them instantly. The cell is then filled 
with distilled water or glycerine, and sealed in the 
usual way. Rotifers may be treated in the same 
manner, but the cell may be shallow." 

Cells for Dry Objects. — We have received from 
Mr. H. P. Aylward, of Manchester, some prepared 
cells, which we believe may be useful to those who 
mount many dry objects. They are made, either of 
paper, or cloth rings, well coated with, we believe, 
a shellac varnish, which becomes hard and glossy, and 
when the objects are to be mounted the application of 
heat melts these rings to the slip and fastens on the 
thin cover. Their use is of course limited to those 
objects which will bear heat, but most foraminifera 
and other calcareous organisms and many microscopic 
fossils can thus be rapidly mounted, for as soon as the 
slide is cold the varnish becomes quite hard and there 
is no danger of the object becoming attached to the 
edge, which sometimes happens when rings are 
fastened on with gold size or other varnish. The thin 
glass when it is being attached should not be touched 
with a cold needle, or condensation takes place under 
the point ; but if this is avoided we have found the 
glass remains quite clear, and the object is in no way 
obscured. It would seem as if the attachment is 
likely to remain permanently hard and firm, but that 
can only be proved by lengthened experience. 

New Species of Rhizopods — In the "American 
Quarterly Microscopical Journal " for January, 
Professor W. S. Barnard describes some new kinds 
of American Rhizopods. As a rule, the American 
species are of European genera, and it is very seldom 
a new one is discovered. Our species (Eitglyp/iia 
tegulifera), appears to be a very interesting form, on 
account of its peculiar shell. It was found among 
fresh-water algae near New York. We take advantage 
of this opportunity to express our high opinion of this 
well got up and excellently edited journal. 

Removing Air-bubbles.— Mr. F. C. Clarke, in 
the "American Naturalist," gives the following 
method as practised by Dr. Johnson : The apparatus 
he employs is of very simple construction, being a 
common dentist's vulcaniser, the means — steam. The 
preparations to be thus treated, especially those of 
wood, are prepared in the usual way and made ready 
for mounting. They are next placed in a small 
vessel of any material which will resist a certain 
amount of heat. Dr. Johnson uses a small glass 
phial in his experiments : this is filled up with water 
after all the specimens (as many as it can conveniently 
hold) are placed within. A cork can be used, but 
a slit must be cut in it to allow the escape of air and 
the admission of steam and hot water. A little water 
is now poured into the vulcaniser, the bottle of objects 
placed within, and the lid of the machine screwed 
down air-tight. The whole is now heated to a 
temperature of about 300 Fahr. for a few minutes. 
This temperature is sufficient for all practical purposes. 
When sufficiently cooled the phial is removed, the 
water drained from the bottle, and alcohol substituted. 
The specimens are now ready for mounting. By this 
process the specimens are made absolutely free from 
air, for the steam penetrates and forces out the air 
from the objects operated upon ; and the tissues 
remain undestroyed. 


Planorbis marginatus. — Professor Ralph Tate 
in his work on " British Mollusks," says, Planorbis 
marginatus is unknown in Scotland. Perhaps it may 
interest some of the readers of Science-Gossip to 
know that I have lately taken upwards of a dozen 
specimens from Duddingston Lock, Edinburgh. Also 
specimens of P. carinatus, P. Nautileus, and P. 
contortus, the last-named species is very numerous. — 
John Adams. 

The Echinus in Aquaria. — Would any of the 
readers of Science-Gossip inform me of the cause of 
the absence of the Echinus in our large aquaria 2 
Is it that animals found in deep sea dredging, will 
not flourish in these, or is it a difficulty as regards 
supplying it with proper food ? I have never succeeded 
in keeping them in small aquaria for more than 
a short time j the last brought me on December 7 
lived for a month, the spines then began to fall off* 
quickly, and in a day or so it died. The Echinus is 
such an interesting inhabitant of an aquarium, that I 
should be very glad to know if it is possible to keep 
it for any time in captivity. — M. D. 

The Hooded or Royston Crow (.Coi-utts comix). 
— These noble birds have been numerous in this 
neighbourhood for some weeks, one or two will 
occasionally perch on the rails of my garden fence, 



at t 

they seem less timid ax the approach of man than 
their congeners the rooks. — J. M., JVezu Brompton, 

The Colour Sense in Cattle. — The degree in 
which various species of animals are able to appreciate 
colour has lately been the subject of discussion. It 
.seems to me that the displeasure shown by cattle at 
scarlet or blood-red objects is presumptive evidence 
that they can discriminate between these shades and 
the dull brownish-red so common in their own species. 
It might indeed be contended that like certain birds 
•they take offence at colours bordering upon their 
■own. But I have never heard that the dislike of red- 
.ness is at all confined to red cattle. On the contrary, 
it is manifested by wild species of the ox tribe, which 
.are never red, and by the wild cattle of Chillingham 
.and Lyme park, which are uniformly white. Does 
any correspondent of Science-Gossip know an in- 
stance of any animal being excited to anger by blue, 
.yellow, or orange objects ? — J. W. Slater, Aylesbury. 

Mistakes made by Instinct. — It has struck me 
that it would materially help to advance the new 
study of comparative psychology, if our correspondents 
Avould put on record good and well-authenticated 
illustrations of the mistakes made by animals. We 
hear much of their marvellous instincts, but not- 
withstanding, there is a tendency to magnify their 
character, and little or nothing is said of the mistakes 
of instinct, whereby we might learn even more of 
animal psychology. I refer to such mistakes as that 
made by the humming-bird hawk-moth, fluttering 
over the artificial flowers of a lady's bonnet, or a 
bee which buzzed into the grip of a sea-anemone, as 
recorded by Jonathan Couch.-— J. E. Taylor. 

House-flies and their Parasites.— In reply 
to the request of the Rev. W. Marston Beeby, con- 
cerning the parasite described on page 21 column I 
in Science-Gossip, I can unhesitatingly assure him 
that it is the well-known fly-parasite called Chelifer, 
the surname of which used to be Fasciatus ; but in a 
slide I have (prepared by Mr. Cole, see the bottom 
of the second page of your advertisement wrapper) it 
is labelled Cancriodes. Mr. C. can, probably, supply 
the object ; but he has added to the label the words 
" very rare." In truth I have never seen but one in 
life, and that was, as your correspondent describes, 
adhering with wonderful tenacity to the leg of a 
common house-fly, Musca domestica. Mr. B. com- 
pares the claws of this insect to those of the lobster, 
but they are still more like those of the scorpion, 
and, in fact, the common name is scorpion insect ; it 
is a perfect scorpion all but the tail. Its having eight 
legs shows it to belong to the great family of spiders, 
and therefore, in strict definition, is not an " insect " 
at all, as no insect proper has more than six. There 
is another variety of this kind still more striking raid 
-curious, the Obisium trombidioides, but which is still 

more rare and hard to meet with, and is the true 
lobster insect. I have two slides of it, but have never 
seen it in life. But to return to the Chelifer, I will 
transcribe a passage from that very useful and pleasing 
little work entitled "Objects for the Microscope," 
by the Rev. L. Lane Clarke (London : Groom- 
bridge & Sons : 5 Paternoster Row). " Chelifer ; this 
parasite attacks flies. I have seen a common fly 
run wildly about the window-pane, shaking itself 
violently, and apparently in great distress. Upon 
catching it, I found a small scorpion-like creature 
fixed upon one of its thighs by a pair of tremendous 
claws. Hardly could it be detached for examination, 
and then it ran quickly like a crab, sideways. The 
Chelifer belongs to the Trachean Arac/uiida ; that is, 
they breathe by means of trachea and spiracles, and 
not as the higher order of spiders, by lungs, or 
internal gills. They have eight legs, two long palpi, 
armed with claws, the eyes are at the side of the 
thorax, and the flat abdomen is jointed." In conclu- 
sion, I would add a few words upon the question 
whether the Chelifer is a parasite, or merely an 
occasional foe of the fly ? From its extreme rarity I 
should undoubtingly say the latter ; that is to say, if 
by "parasite" is meant something bred upon another 
animal ; just as mites are upon apiece of stale cheese, 
for example. The reason why the Chelifer, when 
caught in the house, is usually found on the " window - 
fly " is because, as every one knows, it is by far the 
most common domestic insect, as its name of Musca 
domestica clearly indicates : but I have no doubt that 
the Chelifer would make equally free with the leg of 
a Tipula oleracea (Daddy Long-legs) if it happened 
to come in his way. — H. U. J., Exeter. 

Design in the Nests of Birds. — At a recent 
meeting of the North Staffordshire Field Naturalists' 
Club Dr. M'Aldowie read an excellent paper on the 
above subject. He said in no class was the special 
design for the protection of offspring better seen than 
in the bird class. The great majority, especially the 
weak, trusted to concealment, which was effected 
first by the location of the nest, usually of some in- 
conspicuous material, in bushes, holes, trees, and 
banks. A second method of concealment was by con- 
structing the nests of material similar in appearance 
to that which surrounds it. This was adopted by the 
chaffinch, the common wren, and the martin. Thus 
the chaffinch would place its nest in the fork of a tree, 
and construct it so cunningly of mosses and lichens 
that it had the appearance of an excrescence on the 
branch. Dr. M'Aldowie had noticed a striking 
illustration of this method in the cliffs along the coast 
of Kincardineshire, where the martins built their nests 
in the granite or gneiss of material exactly similar in 
appearance. The third form of concealment was in 
the colour of the eggs being much like the soil on 
which they are laid. This was seen in the lapwing 
and skylark. They often choose the side of a small 



mound for their nests, to be able the better to watch 
those who would attack them. Their young were 
also coloured to resemble the soil, and therefore could 
not be easily seen by persons standing up. The 
young, too, seemed to know that their greatest chance 
of safety was in lying still. The fourth method was j 
that the parent bird was coloured to simulate the 
surrounding herbage, and would not move from its j 
nest very often until forcibly pushed. The second ! 
great form of protection was by situations in- 
accessible to animals without wings. Those who 
could drive off intruders singly built solitary nests, 
such as the birds of prey, the larger gulls, and 
swans. Others, such as rooks and herons, live in 
colonies, and, when attacked, unite to repel the 
enemy. Among small passerine birds adopting this 
method were sand-martins, but in tropical countries 
the smaller class used it more extensively. The most 
remarkable examples were seen in the weaver-birds. 
Captain Drayson had given an interesting description 
of the habits of this class in countries infested by 
monkeys and snakes, which of course could climb 
trees. The nests were therefore so constructed that 
these animals could enter only from below, and only 
by passing along a branch which their weight would 
cause to dip in water, making both snake and monkey 
beat a speedy retreat. Although some had said that 
there was an architectural principle regulating the 
construction of birds' nests, and though similarity 
of structure of different groups was adduced in proof 
of this, Dr. M'Aldowie ventured to assert that there 
was no such principle involved. The similarity of 
structure might be explained by the fact that the 
habits and surroundings of most birds of the same 
genus are nearly alike, and their enemies almost 
identical. But many differed remarkably in their nest 
formation. The swallow family and the martin built 
nests of mud and clay, the sand-martin tunnelled in 
gravelly pits, while the swift deposited her eggs in 
the hole of some old tower. Here there was no 
architectural type. Neither would such a theory 
explain the facts that the wren always built its nest of 
material precisely the same as that which surrounded 
it, making it, as it were, a part of the material ; that 
the sparrow when it built in trees erected a large- 
domed edifice, and when depositing its eggs in the 
walls of houses merely lined the bottom of the cavity 
with straw and feathers ; and that the hawk often 
laid in the forsaken nests of crows and magpies. 
Milne-Edwards said "birds' nests which vary with 
the species are yet, as it were, identical as regards 
any species, and are uniformly constructed in the way 
best fitting the young of that species." In the last 
sentence was the key of the position ; it was a law 
in ornithology, and demanded much attention at the 
hands of the naturalist. These were Dr. M'Aldowie's 
views, and they were the outcome of some years of 
study of nests and eggs in a northern district where 
birds of almost every class abounded. No scientific 

authority that he knew of had treated the subject in 
a systematic manner. That some plan or design 
regulated the nidification of birds was certain. 

Sir John Lubbock's "Ants." — This indefatigable 
naturalist has been communicating additional papers 
on his insect-pets to the Linnean Society. In his 
two last communications, one of which was devoted 
to their anatomy, and the other to their habits, he 
stated that, instead of using water as a means of 
isolation, fur arranged with the hair points down- 
wards answered the purpose better. He recommended 
this plan to people who live in hot countries where 
ants are troublesome. Sir John finds that, contrary 
to what has been stated, the workers (besides the 
queen) occasionally lay eggs, and these always pro- 
duce males. Ants possess domestic servants ; a 
curious blind beetle (Claviger) residing in some com- 
munities, though the ants are not all on a level of^ 
intelligence sufficient to keep clavigers. Sir John 
said he had two queens of Formica fusca five years 
old, and in good health, and also workers of different 
species, some four years in his possession. Though 
previously he has shown instances of ants using then- 
friends badly, yet to their credit it may be said that 
ants of the same nest never quarrel or are ill-tempered 
among themselves. An instance was given of an ant 
without antennae losing her way, and being attacked 
by an enemy, and afterwards tenderly relieved by a 
good Samaritan. From the experiments recorded, it 
would seem that ants recognise fellows of the same 
nest, but where, as in some cases, there are one 
hundred thousand individuals, it appears incredible 
that they should recognise each other at sight ; nor is 
it likely that peculiarities pertain to those of each nest. 
Have they signs or pass words ? Sir John Lubbock 
has endeavoured to throw light on this subject by 
experimenting on the pupae. Although certain species 
of ants are deadly enemies, yet their larvae if trans- 
ferred to one another's nests, will be taken care of as 
if their own. In ant warfare, sex is no protection ; 
but the young are spared. Now, if recognition were 
effected by signal or password, the larvre or pupae 
would not be intelligent enough to appreciate and 
remember this, and afterwards in being returned to 
the former nest, when full grown would carry the 
signal of the wrong nest to their detriment. The 
results of several experiments on Formica fusca and 
Lasius nigcr were, among others, that thirty-two ants 
transferred from their nests as puppe, and again when 
older returned to their own nests, were all amiably 
received, from which Sir John infers that they have 
no pass words. 

The late Mr. Frederick Smith, F.L.S.— 
Entomologists throughout the world will hear with 
regret of the death of this celebrated naturalist. He 
was one of the assistant-keepers of the zoological 
department of the British Museum, and our great 
authority on matters appertaining to the.Hymenoptera. 



White's Thrush.— Mr. Harting states in the 
"Zoologist," that a specimen of this rare bird was 
shot in September, 1878, at Harclacres in Berwick- 
shire. Another specimen was seen in the same 
neighbourhood in January last. 

New Species of Chameleons. — At a recent 
meeting of the Zoological Society of London, a com- 
munication was read from Dr. A. Giinther, F.R.S., 
containing a description of 'four new species of 
chameleons from Madagascar, proposed to be called 
Ch. malphe, Ch. brevicornis, Ch. giilaris and Ch. 

Mounting and Preserving Larv.e.— I was 
pleased with Mr. Brewster's method of expelling the 
internal tissues of caterpillars, and it may be interest- 
ing to know that the best lepidopterists in this part 
innate their grubs with melted paraffin wax. This is 
coloured to suit the colour of the larvae in hand, and 
' injected with a fine male syringe. There may be 
some drawback in this plan, but it is, perhaps, the 
best remedy against change of colour.— G. Robson, 

Mimicry in Butterflies.— A paper has just been 
read at the Entomological Society, by Dr. F. Miiller, 
recording a remarkable case of mimicry in the 
Brazilian butterfly, Eucides pavana, which mimics 
another insect called Acraea thalia. It is however, 
in the male sex of E. pavana, that the greatest 
resemblance to the Acraea is found. 

Testacella Maugei in Jersey.— In Science- 
Gossip for July last, there appeared a short notice 
from me, announcing the occurrence of what was 
supposed to be Testacella haliotoidea in this island. 
Since that time I have found two more specimens. 
Having sent one of them to John Gwyn Jeffreys, Esq., 
the author of " British Conchology," that gentleman 
informs me that the species is unquestionably Testa- 
cella Maugei, not Testacella haliotoidea. I feel it right 
to make this correction. — Martin M. Bull. 

The Stings of Bees.— Professor Church describes 
in "Nature" some experiments made sixteen years 
ago with the poison from wasps' stings, when he 
found to his astonishment that it was invariably 
alkaline instead of acid. A living wasp, duly held 
in the cavity of a perforated cork, was easily induced 
to sting a piece of turmeric paper ; when a brown-red 
spot immediately appeared. 

"The Plague as it concerns England."— We 
advise all our readers who are interested in this 
momentous question to procure this well got up 
pamphlet, published by Hardwicke & Bogue, at 
one shilling. It gives an historical account of the 
plague, and the methods to be adopted to prevent 
its spread, and has been compiled from official and 
other sources. 


•Pyrola, the Winter Green.— During July last 
I accidentally came across a small bed of the above 
plant near Canterbury. I showed it to several 
botanists, but had a difficulty in finding the name. 
I thought it would interest some of your readers to 
know it grows in Kent, and I shall be pleased to 
furnish any one with specimens in the coming spring 
who desires it. — G. Parry, St. Raul's, Canterbury. 

Teratological Notes.— The curious form in the 
flower of a calceolaria figured on page 41 is not un- 
common, though I do not remember noticing it in 
the small-flowered shrubby varieties. A similar 

Fig. 86. — Malformation of flowers of Calceolaria. 

Fig. 87.— Malformation of lips of ditto. 

flower is figured in Masters' 
"Vegetable Teratology," page 
230, where it is described as 
an instance of perfect Peloria, 
resembling that often found in 
various species of Linaria, &c. 
The herbaceous, greenhouse 
calceolarias are very subject to 
irregular development of dif- 
ferent kinds, and in a collection 
of two or three dozen a large 
number of curious and interest- 
ing malformations may be found. I inclose rough 
sketches of two flowers which I found with various 
other abnormal specimens last year. It will be seen 
that in each case two flowers have apparently coal- 
esced, though in different manners. In fig. S6 the 
two flowers are nearly of normal size and form, but the 
two upper lips are united. In fig. 87 the lower lips 
are only about half the normal size, the lower pair 
of stamens are abortive and there is only one pistil. — 
F. T. Warner, Winchester. 

Fig. 88. 

-Calyx seen from 




The Royal Dublin Society. — We are much 
pleased to note that Mr. G. H. Kinahan, M.R.I.A., 
the author of the "Geology of Ireland," which 
we had recently the opportunity of reviewing in our 
pages, has been elected president of this society. 

Pebbles with Upper-Ludlow Fossils in the 
Lower Carboniferous Conglomerates of 
North Wales. — At a recent meeting of the Geo- 
logical Society, a very interesting paper on the above 
subject was read by Aubrey Strahan, and Alfred O. 
Walker. The authors described the mode of occur- 
rence near Abergele of certain lower carboniferous 
conglomerates, best exposed in Ffernant Dingle, and 
especially of one containing numerous red and green 
sandstone pebbles, which enclose fossils [of Upper 
Ludlow forms, and lying above the so-called "Bastard 
Limestone." From the arrangement of the beds the 
authors believe that they may have been deposited 
against a bank or sloping surface of Wenlock shale ; 
and they state that the great majority of the pebbles 
in the conglomerate are quite unlike any rock known 
in the district, but closely resemble the Upper Lud- 
low beds of Kendal and Central Wales. The 
authors discuss the origin of the pebbles, and suggest 
"the probable extension of the Ludlow beds under 
Lancashire as the most likely source from which they 
can have been derived." ' 

Preserving Fossils. — Prof. W. Boyd-Dawkins 
in an appendix to his "Cave Hunting" gives the 
following directions for the preservation of remains 
from caves : "The fossil bones and teeth, which have 
very generally lost their gelatine and have a tendency 
to crumble and split to pieces in drying, should be 
gradually dried, and from time to time saturated with 
a weak hot solution of gelatine or glue. Silicate of 
soda, sometimes called "liquid glass," or melted 
paraffin (not the oil), may also be used for the same 
purpose. If the bones are extremely soft, they may 
be rescued from destruction by letting them dry in 
the matrix, saturating them and the matrix with a 
solution of gelatine, and then clearing off the latter." 
— C. R. L. 

Preserving Fossils. — I always use a solution 
made by the Indestructible Paint Co., 27 Cannon 
Street, E.C. Some years ago it effectually water- 
proofed (so to speak) some Portland stone columns 
to which I applied it, making their surface as hard 
as flint. Hence I have used it on fossils and find 
that it renders even chalk perfectly hard. I recently 
saturated some impressions of sponges, which we 
all know will hardly bear touching, and find that 
now they might almost be brushed without injury. 
It is hardly necessary to add that the solution is 
perfectly colourless, and that it leaves not the slightest 
perceptible deposit. The cost is very trifling, and as 
the company made me for this express purpose a pint 
of solution for two or three shillings, I have no doubt 

your correspondent could get what he wanted. He 
will not be disappointed. — F. IT. 

Methods of Preserving Fossils. — In Science- 
Gossip for February, a correspondent W. G., asks for 
information as to the best method of preserving mam- 
malian bones and other fossils, saying that he had 
been advised to paint them over with a hot solution 
of gelatine, but had not found the result very satis- 
factory. In the March number, Mr. J. W. Carr re- 
commends that they should be painted with thin gum. 
Mr. Carr may have succeeded with this to a certain 
extent, if by painting he really means soaking, for I 
suspect that the reason why W. G. did not succeed 
with the gelatine may have been that he did not soak 
the fossils sufficiently ; if the bones were at all large 
and were merely painted over with a thin solution of 
gelatine, they certainly would not become very much 
harder by such a process. For the bones of the 
larger mammalia glue is the best material ; it should 
be prepared in a vessel which is large enough to 
admit the specimen, which should be lowered into it 
on a sieve or a piece of perforated wire, and allowed 
to remain in the solution for a few minutes, till it has 
imbibed a sufficient amount of glue to replace the 
lost animal matter, it may then be carefully taken out 
and left to dry. If the bone is a perfect one, with 
epiphyses, &c, the operation may have to be repeated, 
and it is a good plan to remove a small portion of the 
surface bone so as to admit the solution freely into 
the interior ; when the specimen is taken out, the 
fragment of bone can be carefully replaced. For all 
the smaller bones and for mollusca extracted from 
sands or loams, gelatine is preferable ; like the glue 
it should be used while hot and in the manner above 
described ; or it may be ladled over the fossil if it is 
very delicate and tender. A thin solution of gum- 
arabic or gum tragacanth is useful for painting over 
the surface of fossils from the lias or coal measures to 
prevent their scaling or chipping. As regards chalk 
fossils my experience is that those from inland localities 
seldom need any preservative process, but that those 
collected from sea cliffs, being saturated with salt 
water, generally effloresce and split up, unless they 
have been well soaked in fresh water. As soon as 
they are brought home they should be put in a basin 
of fresh water and left there for a day or two ; then 
they may be taken out, trimmed and cleaned, and 
replaced in clean fresh water, where they should 
remain for three or four weeks, the water being 
changed at least once every week. I have always 
found this plan effectual. In the "Geological 
Magazine," vol. ii. p. 239, your readers will find a 
short article by Mr. Davies, of the British Museum, 
in which instructions for preserving mammalian 
remains are given. Some hints on trimming, cleaning, 
and preserving fossils will be given in the new edition 
of Penning's "Field Geology," now in the press. — 
A. J. Jukes Browne, High gate. 




Squirrel. — A few weeks ago, I saw, what at first 
I was inclined to call a black squirrel, more correctly 
I should say the colour was a very dark sable, it had 
the usual white breast ; I have heard of a so-called 
"yellow squirrel," but never one of this colour. I 
had a good view of the animal, which crossed the 
road about thirty yards in front of me. — W. G. Tuxford. 

Tenacity of Life in the Wasp. — Being engaged 
in a drawing office connected with the Great 
Western Railway in 1841, we were very much 
pestered by wasps, attracted by some lime-trees then in 
blossom outside, to the extent that one hundred were 
killed during a single day. One of these individuals 
I dispatched while crawling over my board, by 
dividing the abdomen from the thorax with my pen- 
knife. Seeing him buzzing about very actively, and 
trying to fly, but unable to do so, being out of balance, 
it occurred to me to make him a paper tail ; the first 
I made about the length of his own was not heavy 
enough, being of very thin paper, so I made one 
three-quarters of an inch long, in shape like that of 
the large Red Ichneumon fly. This I attached to the 
thorax, for want of better cement, with a piece of 
prepared ox-gall ; immediately he took wing and flew 
about the room, apparently greatly to the terror and 
annoyance of the other wasp, who attacked him 
fiercely, apparently both by wing and sting, the 
latter of course of no effect on his paper appendage. 
He flew about for over two hours, when I lost him, 
and therefore cannot tell you how long he continued 
active ; he probably flew out at the open window. — 
F. L., Rolherham. 

Yew-trees in Churchyards. — Your corres- 
pondent, E. Straker, makes inquiry for any traditions 
or reasons why yew-trees were planted in churchyards. 
A learned antiquarian once provided me with infor- 
mation as follows : "An act of parliament passed in 
the reign of an early English monarch, made the 
planting of a yew-tree in every parish churchyard 
compulsory. Cross bows were made of this material ; 
yew wood became scarce, and the God's acre seemed 
a suitable spot for the cultivation of such a necessary 
material for the warlike requirements of that period." 
— H. P. Stock, Bamet. 

Yew-trees in Churchyards.— In the church- 
yards of Northamptonshire and neighbouring counties 
fine old yew-trees may still occasionally be found, and 
invariably, as far as my experience goes, on the 
south side of the church. I have noticed that where 
this occurs the most used entrance to the church is also 
on the south, the north door in most country churches 
having been blocked up to keep out the cold. The 
trees being ornamental as well as useful were proba- 
bly planted where they would be most seen. For the 
same reason the south-side was chosen for burials, so 
that the congregation, coming to and leaving their 
parish church, might see the graves, and be reminded 
to pray for souls of departed friends. — W. H. Jones. 

Yew-trees in Churchyards. — It may interest 
E. Straker to learn that Sir Thomas Brown, in his 
"Urn Burial," thinks it possible that the planting of 
yews in churchyards arose from ancient funeral rites, 
or as an emblem of the resurrection, from its perpetual 
verdure. The yew-tree was an emblem of mourning 
with the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, from whom 
it was adopted in turn by the Britons. It appears 
also to have been an ancient custom to place them 
singly. Statius in his " Thebaid " calls it "the 

solitary yew ;" and it was at one time as common in 
the churchyards of Italy as it is now in North and 
South Wales. I have heard that in many Welsh 
villages the yew-tree and the church are exactly the 
same age, the one being planted when the other was 
built. Another supposition is that yews were planted 
to protect the church from storms. In statute 35 of 
Edward I. it is stated that trees were often planted 
to defend the church from high winds, and the clergy 
were requested to cut them down for the repairs of 
the chancel of the church whenever required. A 
great deal has been said about yew-trees being planted 
to supply bows, but is there really any record of this ? 
— G. O. Howell, Shooters' Hill. 

Intelligence in Man and Animals. — Man 
judges according to his capacity of the actions of his 
fellow-men, by inferences drawn from a knowledge 
of his own nature. The truth of this may be seen in 
the case of a man born blind, who cannot possibly be 
made to understand what the sense of sight is. In 
judging of the actions of the lower animals, whose 
nature obviously differs from his own, he has not the 
same means of comparison, and is liable to err, if in 
actions which resemble his own, he rashly assumes 
they are the result of reason. Those who credit the 
lower animals with reason, if they are consistent, will 
also credit them with conscience. This Mr. Darwin 
does (see " Descent of Man," part i., chap, iii., 
p. 78). " I agree with Agassiz, that dogs possess some- 
thing very like a conscience." In the same work 
Mr. Darwin draws the usual distinction between 
instinct and reason, and at p. 38, part i. says, "We 
may easily underrate the mental powers of the higher 
animals, and especially of man, when we compare 
their actions founded on the memory of past events, 
on foresight, reason, and imagination, with exactly 
similar actions performed by the lower animals ; in 
the latter case the capacity of performing such actions 
having been gained, step by step through the variability 
of the mental organs and natural selection without 
any conscious intelligence on the part of the animal 
during each successive generation." Leave out the 
words higher animal, and the observation is the same 
in effect as that in my letter of January 1. The whole 
gist of Mr. Darwin's work, however, is to prove that 
the intelligence of quadrupeds differs from that of 
man only in degree. The point of agreement which 
exists owing to their possession of the same senses as 
man, are strongly insisted on, the points of difference 
much less so. Mr. Darwin thinks (see "Origin of 
Species ") that the love of man may have become 
instinctive in the dog, which seems highly probable, 
and explains many of the actions in which observers 
think they have discovered a guiding power of reason. 
In the concluding chapter of the "Descent of Man," 
Mr. Darwin describes the natural feeling of abhorrence 
with which he first saw the savage of Tierra del Fuego, 
and compares them unfavourably with a monkey. 
Low as these savages may be in the human scale they 
have learned to barter (see Mrs. Brassey's " Voyage 
of the ' Sunbeam,' ") and may yet prove capable of 
systematic fraud. Take from man his reasoning 
power, latent though it may be in many cases, yet 
underlying all his conceptions, and we find the idiot 
who would perish but for extraneous aid. Take from 
the quadruped the modicum of reason, which Mr. 
Darwin and others of his school attribute to it, and 
we have an animal endowed with the same kind of 
intelligence we do not understand, but name instinct. 
In conclusion, I would point out to Mr. P. Q. Keegan, 
that the metaphysical dispute respecting the "precise 
nature or manner of the reasoning powers," which he 
concisely epitomises does not affect the question : 



Does the intelligence of animals'differ from that of 
man not only in degree but in kind ? which may be 
affirmed or negatived whichever school of metaphysics 
the writer belongs to. — H. Barclay. 

Intelligence in Man and Animals. — With re- 
spect to this subject, a remarkable instance is mentioned 
in "Nature," February 20. Some rats gnawed 
through leaden pipes to obtain water. Dr. Darwin 
explained by saying that rats heard the water trick- 
ling, and reasoned about it. They cut through the 
pipe to obtain it. I think this explanation probable. 
I agree with your correspondent, Mr. Rogers, who 
contends that memory is an act of reasoning. Dr. 
Darwin had a dog which recognised him after several 
years' absence. This is mentioned in his "Descent 
of Man," chap, ii., I believe, but I quote from 
memory. This dog must have exercised some reason- 
ing power in recognising Dr. Darwin. With respect 
to reason being developed instinct, as Mr. Keegan 
says, Huber thinks that in the lower animals there 
are glimpses of reason, not merely instinct. Darwin 
says that instinct is variable, and it might vary so 
far as to produce some reasoning faculty. With 
respect to man's reason, some Evolutionists argue 
that it may not have been merely developed, but that 
some supernatural change may have taken place. 
Henslow in his " Evolution and Religion," writes to 
this effect : Certainly the gap between the apes and 
man, in respect to cranial capacity is very great, and 
not easily bridged over. Lopinard (L' Anthropologic) 
gives 1500 cubic centimetres, as cranial capacity of 
man ; 531 for gorilla. Making allowance for size of 
body, the ratio of brains of chimpanzee and man is 
given as 38 to 100. The fact of monkeys chattering, 
apparently consulting, and then simultaneously acting, 
is not, I think, explainable merely by instinct. The 
reasoning might not be very acute, but that would 
not be necessary. Of course much depends on the 
way the facts are looked at. Those favouring the 
view of animal reasoning, would naturally find argu- 
ments where their opponents would question the 
reasoning power. Our natural habit of regarding 
ourselves as the most perfect beings, also militates 
against the view of animals having reason, as we are 
naturally loth to allow that they are of similar nature 
to ourselves. But on the whole, I think that animals 
have a somewhat higher faculty than mere instinct, 
and therefore some reasoning power. — A. Wheatley. 

Intelligence in Man and Animals. — As a 
small contribution to the consideration of the above- 
named subject, permit me to refer to a fact which I 
recorded in a paper that appeared in Science-Gossip 
for November 1, 1876, entitled "Spiders and their 
Webs." The particular spider there mentioned, after 
being bitten by a smaller spider of another species, 
plucked the poisoned limb out of the socket, and 
cast it from it, evidently, to save its life. Now, was 
this conduct prompted by what we call reason, or by 
what we call instinct? Further, what is reason and 
what is instinct, more than names under which we 
cloak mysteries, that we are all very far from com- 
prehending? The voluntary act of this spider in 
amputating its own poisoned limb, could scarcely be 
attributed to "memory," or "experience," and it 
suggests some deep reflections. Was it conscious, 
for instance, that death would ensue, unless the 
poisoned limb were immediately plucked out and cast 
away? and, if so, does this show a knowledge of 
physical right and wrong ? Again, was this small 
creature acquainted with Harvey's great discovery, 
"the circulation of the blood," and did it know that 
an injected poison could be absorbed into the circula- 

tion to the destruction of life ? Further, did it know 
that in its case, Nature (or, for anything we know, 
itself) could reproduce the amputated limb ? And, 
lastly, who had been sent to its peculiar mental 
world, to preach the Divine precept, " If thy right 
hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee?" 
Man is too apt to arrogate to himself a peculiar or 
special niche in the great temple of nature, and to 
rely, too confidently, upon his own very finite powers 
of observation. Before the telescope was invented, 
the infinitude of the stellar system was, "the sun and 
moon and eleven stars ;" before the microscope was 
invented, a drop of water was a drop of water, and 
nothing more ; and should it ever be practicable to make 
telescopes or microscopes that could increase our mental 
vision as greatly as these instruments have increased our 
physical vision, then we might be in a better position 
to pierce the depth of the mystery that attaches to 
the reasoning powers of the lower animals. It is 
generally asserted that, so far, "man is the greatest 
outcome of creative power ;" but as we have only 
man's word for this, there may be more self-conceit 
than infinite truth in the assertion. The larvae of the 
blow-fly, when it is devouring the flesh of a living 
animal, may conclude that they are the greatest out- 
come of creative power, because they are unable to 
comprehend any higher outcome of this power ; but 
we know this would be a mistaken conclusion on 
their part ; and for anything we know, the earth, 
planets, sun and stars, may all be living, and intel- 
ligent, outcomes of creative power, as much superior 
to man, as man is to the blow-fly. And as regards 
reason, why may it not be the universal concomitant 
of all created being ? Scientifically as well as poeti- 
cally, we may conclude, that the Creator will be 
reflected in all His works ; and if so, His attributes 
may be expected to be reflected by all His creatures 
to the finite extent of the reflecting capacity which 
has severally been bestowed upon them. Man, con- 
sequently, may be in error, when he assumes that he, 
alone, is the possessor of reasoning powers. — C. L. W. 

Intelligence in Man and Animals. — I have 
read with pleasure the notes of your correspondents 
on this interesting subject, and, although it has been 
ably dealt with by Messrs. Keegan and Barclay, I 
hope still to see a little more light thrown on the 
matter, and a more intelligible distinction shown 
between instinct and reason. Mr - . Rogers, in your 
February number, says: " A little personal observa- 
tion and reflection, would, I should have thought, 
suggest to your correspondent, &c, that what is 
called instinct in animals often passes under the name 
of reason in man." Now "personal observation and 
reflection " has convinced me, whether I am right or 
wrong, that anything done by instinct is done with- 
out reason, although the instinct which prompted the 
action might have been, as Pope says, an "unerring 
guide." The words instinct and reason to me convey 
a very wide and different meaning. Animals, I 
believe, act by instinct, and man has had the higher 
power of reason given him upon which to act, and 
the only quality in man which I can compare to 
instinct is impulse. That acting by instinct and 
acting by reason are from two different causes, I think 
there is ample evidence, although the action may be 
the same. 

Pope says : 

" Reason raise o'er instinct as you can 
In this 'tis God directs, in that 'tis man " 

Mrs. Hale says : 

"The meaner creatures never feel control, 
By glowing instinct guided to the goal."^ 



With regard to Mr. Rogers's remark that the 
"difference which exists is chiefly one of develop- 
ment," I do not agree. I cannot comprehend 
"developing instinct," and the sentence seems 
contradictory in itself. The same question arose at a 
Debating Society, to which I belong, on a discussion 
"Is conscience a true guide?" when the apparent 
consciousness of wrong-doing in dogs was argued in 
support of the affirmative. Mr. Keegan has, I think, 
explained this, and the fact of dogs being endowed with 
sufficient instinct to know that which gives them pain, 
is not sufficient to convince me that the knowledge is 
the result of reasoning. — Idea. 

Intelligence in Man and Animals. — The 
following anecdote which came under my own 
observation some years ago is a curious instance of 
memory and reasoning in a cow, and can hardly be 
relegated to mere instinct. My father had sold a 
cow, which we had reared, to a neighbouring farmer, 
who kept her three years and then sold her to a 
miller four miles farther from our homestead. She 
was with the miller three years, having been absent 
from us six years, and never in the interim having 
visited the spot ; but she had not forgotten its com- 
forts, especially the scalded mashes of bran and 
pollard mixed with home-brewed ale that were pro- 
vided for her at the birth of her calves. One winter 
day (January 12) when she was about to calve, her 
master had to leave home, and put her in charge of 
his man, who forgot her. At night she was looked 
for in vain. She had at last found her opportunity 
and escaped to flee to her old beloved home, and 
actually reached our orchard fence, when she could 
get no farther, and there her calf was born, and she 
had the satisfaction after all her trials of being nursed 
in her old cow-house. — S. Martin. 

Position of the Mouth in Sharks. — The 
peculiar position of the mouth in the sharks and some 
of their allies, used to be a frequent theme of com- 
ment among naturalists of the old school. It was 
pointed out as nothing less than a special arrangement 
to enable a destined victim to escape, while the shark 
was turning on one side to bite. In other words it was 
plainly seen to be a structural feature disadvantageous 
to the species in which it occurs. Singularly enough, 
I have seen no reference to this anomaly in any work, 
either advocating or combating the Darwinian hypo- 
thesis. It seems to me very difficult, if not incapable 
of explanation on the view of natural selection. If 
the position of the mouth which prevails in most 
fishes be the original one, it would seem that any 
variation from such position must be disadvantageous 
to the individual, and would militate powerfully 
against its survival. Or if, on the other hand, the 
original position of the fish-mouth was that which it 
now occupies in sharks, I fail to see why any varia- 
tion which tended to bring it forwards, should not 
have easily and completely superseded the primitive 
type among sharks, &c, as well as among other 
fishes.— C. R. Slater. 

Egyptian Goose. — "The Shepton Mallet Journal " 
announces that Mr. Padfield, of Pecking Mills, Ever- 
creech, shot an Egyptian wild goose of beautiful 
plumage, and weighing about 4.3 lb., near his mill- 
pond, on February 27. There were two in company; 
the other succeeded in making its escape, although 
wounded. — W. Macmillan, Castle Cary, Somerset. 

Query as to Flower. — Can any of your readers, 
kindly inform me, what flower Shakspeare refers to 

in the closing stanzas of " Venus and Adonis " ? where 
he says — 

"A purple flower sprung up, chequer'd with white," 

and ends his reference thus : 

"There shall not be one minute in an hour, 
Wherein I will not kiss my sweet love's flower." 

J. W. Wheldon, Jun. 

The Cuckoo's Eggs. — Having read in a previous 
number some questions and remarks on the cuckoo 
and its eggs, I thought I would give my experience 
of that bird. I have frequently found the eggs and 
young, but never in a nest built on the ground, in 
which some say they are most often found. In some 
works on ornithology it is said that eggs are frequently 
laid in wrens' nests ; but surely that is a mistake, as 
the young cuckoo would certainly be too large for 
such a home. Those I have found were generally 
either in robins' or hedge-sparrows' nests, and once 
I found an egg in a half-built chaffinch's. On no 
occasion have I found nor heard of more than one 
egg in the chosen nest. How strange it is, that the 
maternal instinct of birds should be unable to distin- 
guish between their own nestlings and the awkward 
and big young of the cuckoo ! Some time ago I 
found the young of the latter bird in a robin's nest, 
and as I wished, if possible, to keep it, I put it in a 
large cage out-of-doors. It refused all nourishment, 
and struggled fiercely when food was forced on it. 
One day I was sitting a short distance from the cage, 
when I saw a robin fly right up to the bars, and give 
some food to the cuckoo, which received its, presum- 
ably, foster-mother, with a deal of fluttering and ap- 
parent joy. For several days two robins fed him 
regularly, but after a time they discontinued their visits, 
and in spite of all my efforts the bird died. It seems 
very curious that the robin-parent should have found 
out and fed the cuckoo for so long a time, especially 
as the bird was brought from a long distance to 
my home. — Junior. 

On the Development of the House-Fly and 
its Parasite. — If Mr. Holmes will again glance 
over this paper, he will see that I had not the subject 
of the sketches under observation at all, but that 
these "were made by Mr. G. Harkus from the 
microscope, with the aid of a Beale's reflector," and 
that the size of the egg as given by him is there stated 
to be jV) inch in diameter, while that of the maggot 
on emergence was ^ inch. The discrepancy noted 
may have arisen from the reduction of the original 
drawings in engraving. It appeared to me that while 
the egg and larva shown by Mr. Harkus were identical 
with those matured in my experiment, the chrysalis 
and fly were, as I stated, "undersized and im- 
poverished ;" this I attributed to want of sufficient 
nourishment while in the larval stage, the extra- 
ordinary part of this matter being the wonderful 
rapidity of the insect's metamorphosis. I cannot 
agree with Mr. Holmes " that Musca domestica never 
lays its eggs on meat," much stranger places of deposi- 
tion have been noted, amongst snuff, for instance, the 
ammoniacal odour being the probable inducement; 
while, on the other hand, according to Cuvier, Musca 
vomitoria sometimes selects a plant for the purpose, 
"deceived by the cadaverous odour arising from 
Arum Dracunculus when in flower, it also leaves its 
eggs there." If Mr. Harkus can recover the subject 
from which the sketches were made, and which he 
thinks is preserved, I will pass it through for the 
editor's determination. — M. H. Robson. 



Ventriloquism in Birds. — In a former Science- 
Gossip of last year is a paper about "Ventriloquism 
in Birds " which solicited the experience of the same. 
While paying a visit to a station in Westland or 
Kakitika (Middle Island, New Zealand), in 1876, 
while walking in the bush I heard a very sharp clear 
note, and my host informed me it was the "ventri- 
loquist bird," of which I had often heard, and asked 
me to look for it. I did so, but wherever I went the 
voice seemed to be at one side or behind me, till by 
chance I disturbed the bird, when it flew off before I 
could see it plainly. From what I could gather it 
resembles much in appearance the English blackbird ; 
is often heard and seldom seen, owing to its natural 
shyness and peculiar habit of disguising its voice. 
This was in the centre of the Southern Alps, just 
below the line of perpetual snow, and during the 
autumn of our year. — W. E. Barker, Jesus College, 

The Moa. — On page 40 of No. 170 Science- 
Gossip, February i* 1879 is an article "The Moa 
not yet Extinct (?)" The bird is said to have been 
seen in the "province of Nelson, near lake Rotorua 
and Cannibal Gorges," the latter I have not heard 
of nor can I find them on the map. The only lake 
of that name is in the province of Auckland (North 
Island) latitude 38°io' south, longitude I76°i7' east. 
I fancy it must be a hoax, as nearly every year false 
reports are spread of them having been seen, very 
often turning out to be tame emus, escaped into the 
bush. Also, as yet very few bones, only two or three 
I believe, have ever been found in the North Island, 
while in the Middle Island we plough them up wher- 
ever new ground is broken up. The only lakes in 
Nelson (Middle Island) are lakes Pakerua, Brunnern, 
Hochstetter, and Hawick. So I think there must 
be some mistake. — IV. E. Barker, Jesus College, 

Caterpillars and Onion-crops. — For several 
years past the onion-crops in this neighbourhood have 
suffered severely from the ravages of the caterpillars 
and some insect. Can any of your readers suggest 
a remedy? — P., Haslemere. 

London University, First B.A. Pass Exami- 
nation. — Can any of the readers of Science-Gossip 
inform me what are the best works to read on the 
following subjects as required in the above examina- 
tion — algebra, geometry plane and solid, trigono- 
metry, mensuration, and co-ordinate geometry ? The 
information would doubtless be useful to many, as 
the difficulty in selecting from so many works as exist 
on these subjects is considerable. — IV. J. B. 

The Colours of Twigs, Branches, &c. — Trees 
appear purplish-red during the winter, because the 
greater number have brown, grey, or purple twigs, 
and the scales covering the leaf-buds are usually of 
the same, or some brighter and warmer colour. I 
believe that this will be found to be the case with our 
principal trees, the oak, birch, elm, beech, alder, and 
willow. The oak- twigs are occasionally grey, but 
generally the same colour as the buds, which, as far 
as I know, are always brown. The ash has grey 
stems and black buds. The smaller trees and shrubs 
are often very richly coloured ; the cornel justifies its 
specific name by its blood coloured twigs ; the members 
of the Rosacea are red, orange, and purple, in thorn, 
bud, and leaf, with much grey on the bark of some 
species, as the dog-rose and black-thorn. In speak- 
ing of leaves, I refer to the blackberry, which retains 
its foliage in many places till the spring, but the 
leaves are nearly always bronzed-like veterans. The 
stems of the blackberry are also very purple in hue. 

The various willows bear purple branches, and often 
very brilliantly tinted buds. The colours enumerated 
are not of course perfectly pure ; they are shades of 
every degree, from orange or crimson in the willow- 
buds just noticed, to dull brown or purplish grey. 
The reason for mentioning so many instances is to 
prove that the local colour of the masses of branchlets 
is purple or brown, and to show that the colours of 
the various twigs, buds, and thorns are such as would 
produce a purplish-red or russet effect when massed 
together, and crossed in every direction as they always 
are. It was the practice, we know, of many great 
colonists, to get a tint by "hatching and driving to- 
gether loosely," a number of different harmonies, 
which give, by that means, a colour which could not 
have been formed so well in any other way. This is 
the method of Nature. The variously tinted branchlets, 
their light and shade, with the bluish haze of the 
atmosphere, combined, will account, in my opinion, 
for the hue of trees and shrubs during the winter 
months. — M. Snape. 


\ !To Correspondents and Exchangers. — As we now 
publish Science-Gossip a week earlier than heretofore, we 
cannot possibly insert in the following number any communi- 
cations which reach us later than the 9th of the previous 

To Anonymous Querists. — We receive so many queries 
which do not bear the writers' names that we are forced to 
adhere to our rule of not noticing them. 

W. Martin.— Get Stark's " British Mosses," with coloured 
plates, published by Routledge & Co., at js. 6d. 

W. A. Watts (Manchester). — Your fossils are the univalve, 
Li'iinea longiscata, from Eocene strata ; the bivalve, a Brachio- 
pod, Prodticta striata, Carb. Limestone. 

C. McIntosh — Inquires the best method of mounting 
butterflies' eggs for the microscope. Perhaps some of our 
readers will answer him. 

B. B. Scott. — See article on " How to Prepare Skeleton 
Leaves," in vol. of Science-Gossip for 1872. 

W. H. Littleton (Bristol). — The best and cheapest book 
on British Coleoptera, is Rye's "British Beetles" (coloured 
illustrations), published by Routledge, at iar. 6d. 

W. H. Ne.vberrv. — It is not at all uncommon to see specimens 
of peacocks, tortoise-shell, and one or two other species of 
butterfly, which lie up or hybernate during the winter, coming 
forth on warm days in February and March, having been 
stimulated into activity by the warmth. 

T. Workman. — Ask for the British Museum Catalogues of 
the insects you mention. 

George Turvill. — Are you quite sure the "gigantic fleas" 
on the mole are not ticks (Ixodes)? 

T. W. Dealy. — Press of matter has hitherto prevented the 
publication of your paper, which is in hand. 

W. S. (Edinburgh). — You will find full and ample instructions 
how to proceed in staining vegetable tissues, in the late Dr. 
iieatty's admirable articles on "Decolouring and Staining 
Vegetable Tissues" in Science-Gossip, vol. for 1875. 

B. Hobson. — The "London Catalogue " .is merely a well- 
verified list of indigenous British plants. You will find specific 
descriptions of all our British plants in Hayward's " Botanist's 
Pocket Book ;" published by Bell & Daldy, at +r. This latter 
is the best book of the kind we know of. 

H. Crowthek. — The specimen labelled "greensand," un- 
doubtedly belongs to that formation. We are not so sure of the 
numerous small specimens queried "gault," in the absence of 
characteristic fossils, although they strongly resemble " gault," 
still we have seen clays of other formations much like them. 
The red specimen labelled W. looks like altered gault, and 
very likely it is so, as we found remains of a small decapod 
crustacean in it. The reddish-coloured sandstone belongs_ to 
the lower greensand as the fragment of fossil pecten it contains 
sufficiently shows. 

James Lowther. — We dare say you will be able to get a 
good specimen of living Plumatella or Fredericella from Mr. 
Thomas Bolton, naturalists' studio, 17 Ann Street, Birmingham. 
He regularly supplies naturalists all over Europe every week 
with living organisms. 

G. R. B. (Shoreham).— The "seed-like objects adhering to 
orange-peel," are the pupa cases of Ceratites citriperda. Slack's 
"Pond Life ".could very likely be obtained from W. Wesley, 
the natural history bookseller, 28 Essex Street, Strand. 

9 6 


W. H. J. (Uppingham). — The articles named will probably 
be continued during the summer months. Names of the species 
inclosed were as follows : — a. Scirjms carinatus (Sm.) ; by 
Hooker made a subspecies of S. lacustris ; we believe it to be 
distinct, c. Panicum Crus-galli (Linn.) d. We think, this is 
a melilot, one not seen before, but will tell you next month. 
e. Setaria viridis (Beauv.) f. Ononis arz'eusis, (Linn.) g. 
Eleocharis uniglumis (Link), h. Glyceria aqitatica (Sm.) b, 
A pretty viviparous form of Cynosurus cristatus (L.) ; a valuable 
specimen. Note. — Your observation, amongst botanical notes. 
We wish all our correspondents would send us good specimens ; 
yours are excellent. 

W. K. (Leeds). — The seeds you so kindly send are niger 
seeds, so called in commerce ; but they are obtained from 
Gaizotia olcifera, cultivated in India chiefly for the sake of a 
bland oil, not unlike sesamum oil, which burns in small hand- 
lamps, without smoking. This product is known as ram-til oil in 
Mysore. We are puzzled by your other question. Do you mean 
the olden lentil (Ervum Lens, L.) ? Could you let me see a small 

W. F. (Shaw Hall, Botanical Society, Greenfield.) — We believe 
the specimens are Erigeron bonariensis and Escallonia rubra. 

H. B. (Prestbury). — The ferns are Adiantum caudatum, 
Chcilanthes fragrans, and Nothoclileena vellea. 

D. R. B. (Picton, Bunbury, West Australia). — Only one 
specimen we suppose to be named came to hand. It was a 
pretty mounted flower, a Thysanotus, probably T. proliferus. 

B. Sharpe. — The example sent, was not in a good state for 
examination. Try Dysoxylon. 

W. H. J. (Uppingham). — The plant labelled d, is Medkago 

R. A. B. (Glasgow). — Pardon our overlooking the specimens 
so long. They are as follows: — No. i. Equisetum tatmatcia; 
No. 2. Hieracium vulgatum ; No. 3. Briza media ; No. '4. 
Poa alpina ; No. 5. A viviparous specimen, probably Poa sj>. 

Wanted, the following dried grasses for Herbarium, the 
numbers in the London Catalogue (7th edition) are 1485, 1486, 
1487, 1563, 1575. A list of duplicate grasses and plants would 
be sent to select from for exchange. — G. Garrett, Harland 
House, Wherstead Road, Ipswich. 

About twenty specimens of Helix Pisana, from Tenby, in 
exchange for a few chalk**or other fossils. — Rev. K. Deakin, 
Almondsbury, Gloucestershire. 

Science-Gossip for 1875, 1876, unbound, having duplicates 
will exchange for a good Coddington or Stanhope lens. — Jas. 
Thompson, Mersy Mills, Hadfield, near Manchester. 

Wanted, a vase, or any example of ancient British pottery; 
large or small, from a tumulus, earth-work or other position ; or 
a Romano or Roman-British pot. Will give in exchange a good 
collection of correctly-named lichens from the Scottish mountains, 
or a collection of well-mounted and named slides of microscopic 
fungi for the microscope. — Worthington G. Smith, 15 Mildmay 
Grove, London. 

Wanted, Menge's Preuss. Spinnen, Thorell's " Remarks on 
Synonyms of European Spiders," or Walckenaer et Gervais, 
Hist. Natur. des Apteres." — Thos. Workman, Belfast. 

Well-mounted micro slides, in exchange for side-blown 
eggs, works on ornithology, or bound volumes of Science- 
Gossip. — Laing, 71 Shobnall Street, Burton-on-Trent. 

Wanted, spawn of natterjack toad for Nitella translucens, 
or select from Mr. Bolton's list. — M. H. Robson, 18 Albion 
Place, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. 

Wanted, fossils, in exchange for fossils from Rhaetic, Inf. 
Oolite, Dundry, Red Crag. — Rev. H. B. Capel, Great Eastern 
Rectory, Dunmow. 

Mounted slides of Foraminifera, &c, and good material, for 
rare British and foreign shells, or offers. Lists exchanged. — 
E. R. F., 82 Abbey Street, Faversham. 

Authenticated, side - blown eggs : lamageier, levant 
sparrow-hawk, lanner, saker, Greenland, Iceland, jer, eleonora 
falcons, golden, spotted, booted, imperial, tawny, bonellis 
eagles, and 500 other species offered in exchange. Specially 
wanted, swallow-tail, kite. — Sissons, Sharrow, Sheffield. 

H . pygmea, H. rupestris, H. lapicida, L. glaber, L.fulvus, 
C. tridens, C. minimum, in exchange for Succineaeor Clausiliae, 
except rugosa. — George Taylor, Mold, North Wales. 

Wanted, a small portion of glass-rope sponge, " Hyalonema 
mirabile." Good micro slides given in exchange. — Albert Firth, 
Ballymurphy, Belfast. 

Duplicates of any of the following British land and fresh- 
water shells offered, and localities recorded where found. Succinea 
ob'.onga, Lim. involnta, Lim. Burnetii, Pupa ringens, Vertigo 
pusilla, V. substriata, V. alpestris, V. minutissima, V. 
angustior," V. mouli?isiana. Desiderata, numerous foreign 
land, fresh-water and marine shells, as well as many of the 
varieties of our British land and fresh-water shells, such as 
Limnaceae, Planorbis, Succinea, and Physa. — W. Sutton, High 
Claremont, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. 

Flowers of Sparmannia A/ricana for other microscopic 
objects, or Zoophytes, Australian Zoophytes for others. Foreign 
correspondence wanted. — B. B. Scott, 24 Seldon Street, Ken- 
sington, Liverpool. 

Hair of English bat, unmounted, for unmounted parasite or 
weevil. — C. Bradley, Oxford Street, Marlborough. 

Synapta from Belfast harbour, and skin of eel from Lough 
Neagh, with other objects mounted and unmounted, for good 
slides; send lists. — W. Gray, Mount Charles, Be'fast. 

" Bibliotheca Historica, Naturalis," " Bibliotheca 
Medico-Chirurgeia," and " Anatomico-Physiologica," Leipzig, 
half calf, new, in exchange for sea-weeds. Zoophytes (un- 
mounted) chalk fossils or foreign butterflies. — M. Cattrell, 58 
Berwick Street, Liverpool. 

Wish to exchange Hooker's " Student's Flora," for work on 
Zoophytes. — A. Thomson, 17 Wynne Street, Liverpool. 

British birds' eggs, sixty varieties. British birds in cases, 
sparrow-hawk, red grouse, water-hens, green woodpecker, &c, 
in exchange, good micro slides. — J. R. Murdoch, Horsforth, 
near Leeds. 

Gosse's "Omphalos," "Vestiges of the Natural History of 
Creation," W. Phillips' "Mineralogy," Heath's "Fern Para- 
dise," M. Plues' " Rambles in Search of Flowerless Plants," al! 
in good condition. Exchange British or foreign mosses, lichens, 
or good micro slides. — J. R. Murdoch, Horsforth, near Leeds. 

Wanted, foreign land shells, chiefly Asiatic Clausilias, and 
Philippine species, offered many shells, British and foreign, in 
exchange. Address, Miss F. M. Hele, Fairlight, Elmgrove 
Road, Cotham, Bristol. 

Fine slides of decolorised and stained leaves, showing crystals, 
hairs, stomates ; also picked diatoms from Bermuda deposits, 
and others ; offered in exchange for good material, only, such as 
diatomaceous gatherings, fresh-water alga?, zoophytes, desmids, 
&c. Send lists to J. Tempere, 12 Cecil Street, Manchester. 

For well-finished slides of Xenodochus carbonarius, Pueeiuia 
Adoxce, P. Betonica; Ustilago longissima, hairs of mouse, or 
living Hydra viridis, send good named slides (physiological 
preferred) to William West, 15 Horton Lane, Bradford. 

Sections of the following woods, in exchange for microscopic 
slides or shells. 1. Palm; 2. Robinia pseudo-acacia; 3. Barr 
wood ; 4. Partridge wood ; 5. Satin wood ; 6. Pollard oak ; 7. 
Walnut ; 8. Iron wood ; 9. Bay wood ; 10. Queen wood ; 
11. Rio rosewood ; 12. Zebra wood ; 13. Bahama lignum vitae ; 
14. Purple wood: 15. Turkey boxwood; 16. Crocus wood ; 
17. Dantzic oak; 18. Mexican lignum vitae ; 19. Mahogany. 
— J. J. Cotton, Ael-y-don, Barmouth. 

For living specimens of Melicerta ringens, send well- 
mounted slide to — George Sampson, 14 Market Place, Chester- 

Slide of calcareous plates of Holothuria for well-mounted 
slide. — J. B., 36 Windsor Terrace, Glasgow. 

Fragillaria vire^cens, a pure gathering, in exchange for 
guanos, recent material, &c. — W. M. Paterson, Loftus. 

Wanted, Hypericum dubium, Carex rupestris, Cynoglossum 
syivaticum, Anchusa officinalis, &°t., for other rare plants. — 
G. C. Druce, Northampton. 

London Catalogue, 7th edition. Wanted Nos. 41, 43, 44, 
151, 182, 212, 235, 251, 284b, 284c, 321, 588, 590, 613, 1060, and 
others. Many good specimens to offer in exchange. Send lists 
of duplicates and desiderata to A. W. Preston, Marple Bridge, 


"The Haematite Deposits of West Cumberland." By J. D. 
Kendall, F.G.S. 

" North Staffordshire Naturalists' Field Club Report for 

"Proceedings of the Chester Society of Natural Science," 
No. 2. 

"Is Diphtheria Preventible 1" By E. T. Blake, M.D. 
London : Hardwicke & Bogue. 

"Midland Naturalist." March. 

" Land and Water." March. 

"American Quarterly Microscopical Journal." January. 

" Science News." February. 

"American Journal of Microscopy." January. 

" Bibliography of North American Invertebrate Palaeonto- 
logy." By Dr. C. A. White and Professor H. A. Nicholson. 

" Le Monde de la Science et de l'lndustrie." February. 

" Botanische Zeitung." February. 

"Proceedings of the Literary and Philosophical Society cf 
Liverpool," Vol. xxxii. 

&c. &c. &c. 

Communications received up to qth ult. from : — 
E. E.— M. H. R — J. T— W. G. S.— G. S.— S. M.— C. R. S. 
__j. w. S.— W. M.— F. H.— G. G.-J. L. P.— F. J. W. O.— 
J. H.— J. A. W— G. T.— C F. G— L. C— T. H. G.— G. T.— 
J. W. D.— W. H. J.-G. R.— J. L.— E. R. F.— T. R. I.— 
H. B. C— T. W.— H. L. B.— R. H. N. B.— M. S.— Dr. M. 
M. B.— A. F.— G. O. H.— F. M. H.— W. H. L.— M. C— 
J. R. M— C. L. W.— A. W.— A. T.— W. G.— W. H. N.— 

C. B. C. McL— C. R. B.— B. B.S.-E. M.— T. W. H.— W. M. 
—I. W. Jun. C. P.— Dr. G. A. S— J. J. C— W. K.— J. F. M. 
— W. S— A. J. J. B.— C. J. A. C— B. H.— J. T.— W. W.— 
H. M. H.— W. B. F.— W. J. B.— T. M. R— G. S.— A. M — 

D. H.— J. J. B.— J. B.— J. H. W.— Dr. P. C. Q.— W. M. P.— 
R. L— A. W. P.— G. G. P.— G. C. D.— D. P.— &c. 





OUGHLY speaking 
the New Forest 
may be said to 
comprise that por- 
tion of Hampshire 
which lies between 
the Southampton 
Water on the east 
and the Avon on 
the west, extend- 
ing from the coast 
line as far north as 
Braemore, Bram- 
shaw, and Totton ; 
or, in other words, 
the whole of the 
south-western cor- 
ner of the county 
as far as the Avon. 
Strictly, however, 
the forest only 
touches the sea for five miles or so near Lymington, 
while its western limit falls short of the river by some 
three or four miles. Though it includes the largest 
and finest tract of wild unenclosed woodland in the 
kingdom, there is actually within its borders less of 
wooded than open country. " Within equal limits," 
says Gilpin, in his "Forest Scenery," " perhaps few 
parts of England afford a greater variety of beautiful 
landscape than the New Forest." The northern 
portion consists chiefly of wild rugged woods, many 
presenting the same aspects and features as they did 
in the days of the Red King : below this is a zone 
of undulating moorland, breezy heaths all aglow in 
spring and summer with golden gorse and purple 
heather, with little rivulets winding and turning until 
lost among the emerald sphagnum and snowy cotton- 
grass — unfailing indicators of spongy and often 
dangerous bogs : and further southward we come to 
the cultivated district, a fair region of ploughed fields, 
meadows and shady lanes, dotted over with detached 
farms and little villages, each possessing its three 
proverbially necessary constituents, a church, a smithy, 
and an inn. 
No. 173. 

Within this territory nature has scattered her gifts 
with no sparing hand ; and yet, though perhaps no 
portion of the United Kingdom of equal area is more 
interesting from a naturalist's point of view, the New 
Forest is still to a very large extent, a terra incognita. 
Year after year it produces new insects and plants, 
and it is a matter of regret that, notwithstanding the 
number of diligent and careful observers who annually 
spend a few weeks or months here, so very few are 
willing to impart their knowledge by writing an odd 
paper now and then for publication in such a widely- 
read journal as Science-Gossip. Flowering plants 
and lepidoptera seem everywhere to have received 
considerably more than their share of attention — 
perhaps because books upon these subjects are 
always readily accessible ; but there are other 
branches of entomology and botany, equally inter- 
esting, but sadly neglected from the scarceness of 
information about them ; and if those who make 
special studies of these would occasionally take the 
trouble to pen a few dozen lines showing the most im- 
portant characters of genera and species, they would 
confer a great boon on a large section of students 
to whom large and costly works or voluminous 
"Transactions" are beyond reach. The papers on 
the diptera, for instance, in the eleventh and 
twelfth volumes of Science-Gossip, are an excellent 
example, and the authors deserve sincere thanks for 
their labour ; so also are the articles on diatoms, 
desmids, and foraminifera in the earlier volumes. 
Papers of this kind are of more practical value 
than * discussions about the correct pronunciation 
of scientific names, or lengthy quotations from the 
works of tenth-century naturalists, however good 
these may be— and they undoubtedly are— in them- 

If any one will look through the fourteen volumes 
of Science-Gossip in the hopes of gleaning informa- 
tion upon the natural history of the New Forest, he 
will find two or three papers on lepidoptera, perhaps 
a couple of very meagre ones on phanerogams, and 
possibly an odd note or two recording a rare capture 
or discovery. This is not very much certainly, so 
with a view of adding somewhat to the general know- 



ledge of this interesting district, I have strung to- 
gether a few notes from my own observations on the 
fauna and flora during a residence of three years in 
the heart of the forest ; they may be suggestive, and 
if they possess any merit, it is that of accuracy. But 
it is necessary for me to state in limine, that I have 
had nothing to do with a large portion of the forest 
proper ; my observations have been confined to an 
area about a dozen miles square, that is to say, from 
Beaulieu and Marchwood to the Avon, and from 
Stoney Cross to the sea, and even this is rather out- 
side the mark, for the north-western section I have 
scarcely even walked through. 

Among the mammalia, feres natures, which inhabit 
the forest, the most worthy of consideration is the 
deer. A quarter of a century ago they were very 
numerous, and old inhabitants speak of it as then an 
ordinary thing to see a dozen or more wild deer in a 
walk from Brockenhurst to Lyndhurst, but about 
twenty years ago they were nearly all killed off 
owing to the injury they caused to the young trees. 
Now they are seldom seen, and thrice only have I 
come upon them in their native haunts. Foxes are 
more plentiful, but it is more usual to see sly Reynard 
with a pack of yelping hounds at his heels than to 
catch him A sang froid. An animal which is now 
almost extinct in the forest is the badger. I once got 
within sight of a singular beast which puzzled me 
extremely, he was neither a dog nor a cat, that was 
evident ; but I could not get a clear view of him on 
account both of his distance and of the thick furze 
and heather which intervened. But away I went in 
hot pursuit : when he ran I ran, and when he stopped 
to look round, as he often did, I stood still ; however 
I made but little advance on him, perhaps rather the 
reverse, when suddenly the animal disappeared and 
refused to show himself again. Some time afterwards, 
on describing this creature and its movements as well 
as the locality to a gamekeeper, the man said : " Oh 
it was a badger, there's no doubt — but they are very 
rare." Otters also are not often heard of, but their 
excreta may occasionally be met with near streams. 
A year or two ago a pair of old ones and two whelps 
were found in the forest by a woodman, and he, 
hoping to secure at least the young ones alive, 
hastened off for assistance, but on his return they 
were gone, and no one could discover their where- 
abouts. Squirrels of course abound, and so do 
moles ; stoats and weasels are seldom seen alive, but a 
" keeper's tree " always shows a goodly number. One 
of the most amusing scenes I ever witnessed was a 
kind of serio-comic race between a stoat and a 
rabbit. The latter might easily have got clear away 
from his pursuer, but he evidently preferred running 
round and round within a dozen paces of where I 
stood and eventually succeeded in fairly tiring out the 
stoat. What surprised me was the utter absence of 
any sign of fear on the part of the rabbit— and while 
the stoat displayed the most bloodthirsty determina- 

tion and savage ferocity, the other, it was clear, treated 
the whole affair as altogether a capital bit of fun, and 
seemed particularly pleased to find that a featherless 
biped was present to witness the humiliating defeat 
of his mortal foe. 

At least three species of bats inhabit the forest : 
the Noctule, or Great Bat ( Vesp. noctula), the Long- 
eared Bat (Plecotus auritus), and the Pipistrelle ( Vesp. 
pipistrellus). Of the second I have seen but one 
example sufficiently near to identify it with certainty. 
Gilbert White, who gave the name Vespertilio 
altivolans to the noctule, says, "The little bat 
appears almost every month in the year, but I have 
never seen the large ones till the end of April." In 
this neighbourhood, where they are more numerous 
than at Selborne a century ago, I have seen the 
Great Bat on the wing on April 6th, and once as 
early as the i Sth of March. 

That the bite of the adder [Pelias berus) is under 
certain circumstances fatal is probably true enough, 
though I know of no well-authenticated record of a 
thoroughly healthy person dying from its direct 
effects. But one thing is beyond question — its bite 
has very unpleasant results, sometimes even necessi- 
tating the amputation of the limb. A man here was 
bitten in the hand and lost the use of his arm for four 
months. Adders are found in these parts in consider- 
able numbers, and in hot weather it is very imprudent 
to ramble about in the woods without wearing 
gaiters, or, failing these, the best thing is to tie the 
trousers tightly around the ankle ; the danger being 
less of a bite through the trousers, than that the 
reptile in its fright may take refuge inside them, an 
occurrence which once happened to a forest keeper I 
know, and this so terrified him, though he shook off 
the brute and escaped unharmed, that he never goes 
into the wood now without having his understandings 
encased in stout leather. The dread of all creeping 
things extends here to the pretty little brown lizard 
and the slow worm, both of which are invariably cut 
to pieces as mortally dangerous vermin. A bright 
reddish-purple variety of the latter known as the 
"red adder" is regarded with the utmost terror, 
because it is supposed to be more venomous than 
the viper itself. 

One or two words as to the birds. As might be 
expected their number both of species and individuals 
is large ; a good list is given in Mr. Wise's book of 
the New Forest, enumerating no less than 230 out of 
354 recognised British species. I am told that at 
present there is but a single pair of honey buzzards in 
the forest, and their eggs are so greedily sought after 
that there is but scant chance of the number in- 
creasing, except when they happen to build where the 
nest may be effectually protected, as was the case 
two years ago, when the honey buzzards built in a tall 
tree on a gentleman's estate, and the proprietor, with 
rare good sense, ordered his keepers to watch the 
nest day and night, and gave them strict injunctions 



not to lean on the side of tenderness in dealing with 
would-be intruders. An osprey was shot on the 
coast last year. I saw it in the hands of a taxider- 
mist at Lymington. Snipes and woodcocks remain 
here in small numbers throughout the year, and their 
eggs are found every season. Peewits breed in great 
numbers among the bogs. During the months of 
March and April the heronry at Vinney Ridge 
presents an animated appearance. There on the top- 
most branches of some of the tallest and finest 
beeches in the forest the herons may be seen sitting 
on their broad flat nests, or engaged in feeding their 
young. The trunks of these splendid trees are four 
or five feet in diameter, smooth and branchless up to 
a height of some twenty feet, and one would suppose 
the nests were inaccessible — even to the proverbial 
nesting boy — yet many of the eggs are taken. For 
this purpose large iron spikes are securely attached 
to the legs, and the climber makes the ascent by 
sticking these into the tree step by step : but it is 
a perilous feat, and one which requires a steady nerve 
and a cool head. The herons always lay twice and 
frequently three times in each season, beginning 
early : by the second week in April the young are 
already half grown. In May or June they leave their 
nesting haunts and retire to the coast. I have seen 
three of the woodpeckers : the green, the greater 
spotted, and lesser spotted, but the first is by far the 
most common, indeed, although the shrill squeak- 
ing laugh-like note of the two last is not an un- 
familiar sound it is not often that the birds them- 
selves are seen. Nut-hatches are pretty common 
and are known by the euphonious name of "mud 
dabbers " from their habit of plastering mud around 
the holes which lead to their nests. Kingfishers are 
scarce, and I have rarely seen two at once. Speak- 
ing of these birds, perhaps it is not generally known 
that they can and do procure their food from the 
sea as well as fresh water. I recollect observing 
this in Sark, one of the Channel Islands, where king- 
fishers are numerous, though there is not in the 
island a stream or (with one exception, I think) a 
pond big enough to sustain a minnow. More than 
once I have seen them among the rocks at low tide. 
The wryneck arrives here about the 1st or 2nd of 
April, and the cuckoo about the 20th. Nightingales 
are very plentiful, and usually begin to sing towards 
the middle of April. Swallows, house and sand 
martins arrive the second or third week in April, and 
swifts during the first days of May. Our latest 
summer visitant is the night-jar, which begins its 
singular churring note usually on the 16th or 17th of 
May ; last year however I heard one as early as the 
7 th. These birds breed commonly on heaths, and 
lay their eggs — never more than two — on the bare 
ground. On one occasion I found a pair of night- 
jar's eggs as late as the 5th of August, this I noted in 
Science-Gossip, vol. xiii. p. 259. 

{To be continued.) 


TO those interested in geological pursuits there 
are few localities possessing so many advantages 
and at the same time offering such a varied field 
for research, as the neighbourhood of Cardiff. Such 
being the case, a brief outline of the leading features 
of the district may not prove uninteresting to some of 
your readers. 

The town of Cardiff is built upon the western 
portion of a large plain, the surface of which is not 
much above high-water mark, in fact, some parts of 
the surrounding moors are periodically covered with 
tidal water at the vernal and autumnal equinoxes ; geo- 
logically speaking, it cannot have been long since 
the waters of the Severn flowed regularly over, and 
indeed far inland, to where Cardiff now stands. 
The surface soil consists of a foot or two of stiff clay, 
resting upon rolled blocks and pebbles brought by 
the action of water from the older rocks of the 
district ; these in turn rest upon the Keuper marl of 
the Triassic formation. 

Cardiff boasts the possession of splendid dock 
accommodation, and is visited by the mercantile 
fleets of all nations for that important article of 
commerce, steam coal, for which South Wales is 
justly famous. 

The geological map of Great Britain defines a 
large district in the neighbourhood of Cardiff as being 
occupied by Old Red Sandstone deposits. This to a 
great extent is correct, but a careful re-survey of the 
district would very materially alter the boundary of 
this formation, and cause the introduction of a con- 
siderable tract of Silurian to be substituted. It is to 
be hoped these alterations will be made at no ve;y 
distant period." 

The Silurian deposits are well exhibited in a section 
on the river Rumney, about two miles from Cardiff, 
where a total thickness of rock exceeding 700 feet is 
exposed. These beds are replete with the customary 
fossils of the upper or Ludlow series, and at present 
it is a moot point whether deposits representative of 
the Wenlock series may not also exist here. 

The only rising ground of any importance in the 
immediate neighbourhood of Cardiff is Pen-y-lan. 
This is a low hill composed entirely of Silurian 
deposits ; a small quarry nearly at the top of the 
hill has furnished the writer with a typical collection 
of the interesting fossils of this formation. This spot 
will repay the visitor for the walk, as a commanding 
view of the British Channel, the flat and steep 
Holmes, the coast of Somersetshire, and the Liassic 
plateau of Penarth, and Leckwith can be obtained 
from here. 

From the Silurian to the Lias represents an enor- 
mous thickness of deposits, yet, if we except the 
Permian and Lower Lias, the entire sequence may 
be obtained within a radius of about a dozen miles 

F 2 



from Cardiff. Caerphilly, with the ruins of its 
ancient castle, lies to the north of, and is distant 
from Cardiff about seven miles. A walk over the 
Rhymney Railway reveals the following section : 
After passing over the alluvial deposits at Cardiff, we 
enter a cutting through a bed of river gravels ; this 

8 feet. 

10 feet. 

9 feet. 

1 8 feet. 

24 feet. 

30 feet. 

Ammonites planorbis beds. 

Lima beds. 

Ostrea liassica beds. 

I' HI i' 1 ,'l", 

I I Mi 

~r-- - 1 

■1 N , * * .rf a«_/ White Lias series. 

»fc- ;..Sa»3l 

Black Shales. 

> j 1 1 1 1 |i 

Green Marls. 


Fig. 89.— Section of Rhsetic beds at Penarth. 

is immediately followed by a cutting in the Silurian, 
and is the most westwardly exposure hitherto dis- 
covered in this district ; it is, in fact, a prolongation 
of the base of Pen-y-lan referred to above. A heavy 
embankment occurs for about a mile, which brings 
us near Llanishen, where we enter a fine section of 
the Old Red Sandstone, consisting of conglomerate 
pebble beds, beds of grey and red sandstone alternat- 
ing with beds of similar coloured marls ; these are 
succeeded by the carboniferous limestone, millstone 
grit, and lower coal measures. 

These rocks at once mark a significant change in 
the features of the landscape ; rising to over 850 
feet above sea level, they form the Caerphilly 
mountain, under which the Rhymney Railway is 
carried by a tunnel 1760 yards in length. In walking 
over the mountain we pass over the denuded and up- 
turned edges of the Old Red Sandstone, carboniferous 
limestone, millstone grit, and, on the northern slope, 
between the summit and the town of Caerphilly, 
twelve seams of coal, alternating with beds of sand- 
stone and shale, crop out. About two miles further 
to the north, the great anticlinal axis which divides 
the South Wales coal basin into two unequal troughs 
is met with. It is composed of Pennant sandstones ; 
these furnish good building material, and from some 
of the beds an excellent paving-stone is obtained. 
The thickness of these sandstones, as ascertained 
from sinkings, is over 480 feet. 

The currents which brought the material for the 
formation of these rocks also brought large portions of 
the vegetation of the period, which have been well 
preserved in a quarry at Pwll-y-pant ; some of the 
beds are literally crowded with such remains. When 
first exposed the external portion of the wood is 
found converted into pure coal having a cubical 
fracture inside, the wood has been fossilized, and an 
excellent idea of its structure may be obtained by 
preparing thin sections for microscopical examination. 
By far the larger portion of these remains consist of 
Sigillaria, but from the fact of Dadoxylon antiquus, 
Pinites, Lepidodendron and Psaronius having been dis- 
covered, a careful examination would doubtless reveal 
to an investigator of fossil botany many other descrip- 
tions of the flora of the coal age. 

That these remains have been subjected to consider- 
able attrition is indicated by the ends of each piece of 
wood terminating in a blunt point, while not un- 
frequently patches of fossilised vegetable matter may 
be found. These are undoubtedly the comminuted 
fragments worn from the stems and branches during 
the turbulent state of the water, and held in suspen- 
sion until it became more tranquil, when they were 
finally deposited in the slight inequalities of the sea 

The general arrangement of the beds in this section 
is briefly as follows : when the Silurian is first met with 
the dip is about 23 degrees to the N.E. The embank- 
ment referred to occupies a depression where the beds 



become horizontal ; at Llanishen the dip is about 22 
degrees to the S.W., gradually increasing in angle of 
dip as the tunnel is approached, where the beds are 
seen to fold over an anticlinal axis and again dip to 
the N.E. at an angle of 33 degrees. 

A trip by the steam ferry, occupying about ten 
minutes, lands you at Penarth, where one of the best 
sections of the Rhastic series in this country is exposed 
in the cliff. Penarth Head, about 160 feet high, con- 
tains the following series of beds. The base consists of 
red and pale green marls, enclosing large lenticular 
masses of gypsum. Beds of impure limestone succeed — 
the surface of one of these beds presents a very uneven 

ing the site of the coast line of the Triassic Sea, it 
consists of angular, subangular, and water-worn blocks 
of the older rocks of the districts cemented in a 
matrix of a rich red colour ; the stone can be wrought 
in blocks of almost any dimensions, and is much used 
when substantial masonry is required. Hitherto it 
has not furnished the writer with any fossils other 
than those found in the contained blocks of older 

The amount of denudation which has taken place 
in this district is enormous. Abundant evidence re- 
mains to convince any one the coal strata must have 
been continuous from South Wales to the Bristol and 

Fig. 90.— Section from Cardiff to Caerphilly. 1. Coal measures; 2. Millstone grit; 3. Carboniferous limestone; 4. Old Red 

Sandstone; 5. Silurian; 6. Gravels; 7. Trias. 

surface when exposed, in the depressions of which 
large quantities of fish remains occur, consisting of 
teeth, spines, and scales of various species, prominently 
among which may be mentioned Nemaca?ithus filifer, 
N. monilifer, Hybodus retiadatus,' Acrodus minimus, 
Sargodon Tomicus, Gyrolepis Alberti, Saurichthys 
apicalis, and S. acuminatus. Then follow a series of 
black shales, with occasional beds of impure lime- 
stone but exceedingly fossiliferous, containing Axinus, 
Pullastra, Pecten Valoniensis, Cardium Rhaticum, 
Avicula contorta, Myophoria postera, Gervillia, 
&c. These beds are succeeded by the White 
Lias series, commencing with sandy shales, passing 
into beds of limestone containing Lima precursor, 
Modiola minima, Anatina Suessi, and still ascend- 
ing we met with the Ostrea beds containing Ostrea 
liassica, Plicatida, Lima shales, with Lima precursor, 
and lastly the Ammonites Planorbis beds with the 
fossil giving them their title. Reptilian bones are 
not unfrequently met with, consisting of Ichthyosaurus, 
Plesiosaurus, &c. 

Following the cliff along to Lavernock, about two 
miles in a southwardly direction, the various beds 
may be examined in detail, as their undulations bring 
them within easy reach for observing more minutely. 

At Lavernock the coast suddenly trends to the west 
and a very fine exposure of the Lias opens up. The 
beach from low water to the base of the cliff is covered 
with some of the beds, the natural fracture of which 
gives the beach the appearance of having been 
artificially paved. From this point the flat and steep 
Holmes (two islands of carboniferous limestone) are 
prominent objects standing off in the channel about 
three or four miles from the mainland. 

At Radyr and at the junction of the Penarth line 
with the Taff Vale Railway near Llandaff, excellent 
exposures of the dolomitic conglomerate occur, mark- 

Somerset coal-field, as also the underlying Old Red 
Sandstone. The vertical thickness of these rocks 
added to those exposed in the cliffs from Penarth to 
Southern- down amounts to between one and two 
miles, a mass of rock which only a corresponding 
immensity of time would be sufficient to remove. 

W. H. Harris. 


By H. M. J. Underhill. 

THERE is a great deal of literature on the subject 
of " microscopical mounting," and I hesitated 
much before I decided to contribute yet another 
paper to the amount Notwithstanding, I believe 
that the particular branch of "mounting " of which 
this article treats, is but imperfectly understood. 
When I was a member of the Postal Microscopical 
Society, I used to see the slides of some hundred 
and twenty microscopists, among which were a great 
many of what the club calls "professional slides." 
It seemed to me that the majority of the entomological 
specimens, both those by "amateurs" and "pro- 
fessionals " were badly set up, and that, with a few 
agreeable exceptions, even those which might be 
called good slides were mounted upon principles 
radically faulty. This being a fairly large circle 
from which to judge, I suppose that most entomo- 
logists who use a microscope set up their preparations 
after the same fashion, and therefore I have written a 
paper on a well-worn theme. 

A man commencing the study of insect-anatomy 
reads a few " hints on mounting " in some book ; the 



remarks treat of mounting in general, and the beginner 
applies to insects methods suitable to histological, 
vegetable, or mineral objects. His principles are at 
fault, and his productions are more or less failures. 
This paper is not about mounting in general, and, 
although many of the methods detailed may be good 
for other classes of objects, it is only for the prepara- 
tion of insects and similar things that they are here 

In preparing any object, one's aim should be to 
obtain an absolutely correct idea of it. One should 
therefore endeavour firstly to set it up in a natural 
manner and position, and secondly to display every 
detail. It is always to be borne in mind that details 
shown by distortion give an incorrect idea of the 
object, and that the knowledge thus gained being in- 
accurate, is therefore nearly useless. 

By the ordinary method of preparing insects, every- 
thing is sacrificed to the display of minute details, 
and preparers are ambitious of doing on one slide 
what can only be properly done on two, three, or 
four. This ambition results in a radical fault, namely 
the use of undue pressure, in order to bring all parts 
of the object to one level. Again, a wish to mount 
slides rapidly induces the employment of heat in order 
to harden the balsam quickly. For mounting diatoms, 
a skilful manipulator tells me that hardening the 
balsam thus brings out the markings. His slides 
fully bear out his words. But for insects, nothing 
can be worse than heat, for it produces an opalescent 
transparency, which makes markings partially invisible, 
and this effect is aided by the increased density given 
to the balsam. 

The methods which I venture to recommend avoid 
the use of undue pressure and of heat, while, at the 
same time, not only will they give a better general 
idea of an object than the methods ordinarily in use, 
but also will bring out details much more distinctly. 

Insects cannot all be mounted in the same way, 
and, according to the points which it is desired to 
show, so must the method of mounting vary. I will 
first describe the various media and processes of 
mounting, and then say something of the different 
insects for which they are suited. 

The media I employ may be divided into two 
classes : A, those which are aqueous, and B, those 
which are resinous. 

Class A. Medium i. — To every fluid ounce of 
glycerine add ten drops of ordinary acetic acid. 
Almost everything may be mounted in this medium. 
Medium 2. — Glycerine jelly. For details of its manu- 
facture I refer readers to Science-Gossip 1874, P- 54- 
Carbolic acid should be used to prevent the growth 
of fungi, instead of Baric chloride as there stated. 
I do not recommend glycerine jelly, except in a 
very few instances, and therefore I do not trouble 
the reader with what I said at a former time. 
Medium 3. — Distilled water. To every fluid ounce 
of water add 20 drops of carbolic acid ; boil until 

the acid be dissolved, and filter through blotting- 
paper. This medium is solely for mounting specimens 
of opaque objects. 

Class B. Medium 1 . — Canada balsam. I consider 
test-tubes by far the most convenient vessels in which 
to keep this resin. Fill a test-tube with two-thirds of 
old balsam and one-third of benzine. A friend tells me 
that new balsam does just as well, but of that I have 
no experience. The mixture should be of the con- 
sistency of cream. Medium 2. — Gum dammar. Take 
two parts of gum dammar and one part of gum mastic : 
pound them in a mortar, and fill a test-tube quite full 
of the powder, but do not ram it down : now pour in 
benzine until the test-tube will hold no more. Cork 
the tube tightly, and let it stand in an oven for a few 
hours, until the solution be quite clear and all 
sediment has sunk to the bottom. Filtering is quite 
unnecessary. Gum dammar by itself dries very brittle, 
and besides, I have never been able to clarify it. 
These mixtures of Canada balsam and of gum dammar 
may be used indifferently for unstained specimens. 
I do not know that one is better than the other, but 
for stained specimens it is better to use only gum 
dammar, because the natural oils in the balsam cause 
some colours to fade. 

Process i. To mount an object in glycerine. — A 
cell is necessary for all but the very thinnest objects. 
Fixing a cell is some trouble, but it is seldom that 
anything deeper is required than a glass slip with a 
countersunk cell. As some people are always com- 
plaining (quite needlessly) of the difficulty of "seal- 
ing cells," I describe my method : fill the cell with 
glycerine ; pick out all air bubbles with a pair of 
forceps, put the object in the cell ; take up the thin 
glass cover with the forceps, breathe on its underside, 
and place it carefully (do not drop it) on the cell ; 
press the cover down, taking care to keep the object 
in the middle, and secure it with a clip. Leave the 
slide for an hour in order that all superfluous 
glycerine may be pressed out ; then take it up and 
wash it in clean water by dipping it in, and moving 
it gently backwards and forwards. Wipe the ends of 
the slide with a towel ; absorb all the water about 
the cover with blotting-paper, and then varnish it 
very thinly with ' Bell's cement.' Knotting varnish, 
such as is sold in ordinary oil shops will answer the 
purpose, but slides sealed with this are apt to leak. 
Therefore I prefer Bell's cement, which can be bought 
at C. Baker's, High Holborn. Three coats of varnish 
should be put on before the clip is taken off, and the 
slide may then be " ringed " on the turn-table in any 
way that suits the mounter's fancy. 

For mounting in jelly I again refer readers to the 
back number of Science-Gossip. Objects may be 
mounted in water in the same way as in glycerine ; 
washing the slide after putting on the clip, however, 
is unnecessary. 

Process II. To mount in balsam or dammar. — 
With a turn-table draw a ring of water-colour paint 



in the middle of the slide. If the object be very thin 
put a small drop of the medium on the slide, place 
the object in it, and put on the cover, wetted with 
benzine, and press it down only very lightly indeed. 
It is but seldom that entomological objects are thin 
enough for this, so, in an ordinary way, proceed as 
follows. On the ring of paint at equal distances apart, 
place three small chips of cover-glass of a thickness 
just slightly less than that of the object to be mounted ; 
arrange the object which should be quite wet with 
benzine, in the middle ; put on the cover, secure it with 
a clip, and let the medium run under by capillary attrac- 
tion. All bubbles not inside the object will ultimately 
disappear, but sometimes they need ' ' coaxing " to make 
them go. The clip must be left on for half a day or 
a week, according to the nature of the object. Any 
shrinkage of balsam from the edge of the cover must 
be carefully filled up. Slides mounted in this way 
should be left at least six weeks to dry. The super- 
fluous balsam may be scraped off neatly by placing 
the slide in the turn-table, and using a sharp bradawl 
to cut the balsam. A good margin of balsam must 
be left round the edge of the cover. The slide must 
be first varnished with balsam, but it may be finished 
according to individual fancy. 

If the object be too thick for any bits of cover- 
glass, I generally use a slip with a countersunk cell. 
Nothing is easier than to mount with these. I should 
use them almost always, if they were not twice the 
price of smooth-edged slips. 

I will now speak of the processes for preparing 
insects for mounting. It is on the proper carrying 
out of these that the worth and beauty of one's slides 

To prepare an insect for being mounted in glycerine. 
First process : Simply soak it for a week in glycerine. 
Second process [to be used if the insect be curled 
up] : soak it for a day or two in acetic acid, then 
for half a day in distilled water ; this makes the legs 
spread out. Soak it in weak glycerine ; then in 
stronger, and finally in pure glycerine, then mount 
it. Third process : For this refer to the first process 
for Canada balsam. Insects are prepared for glycerine 
jelly in the same way as for glycerine ; for carbolated 
water they are prepared by simply soaking them in it 
for some time. 

To prepare insects for balsam or dammar. — First 
process : After partial dissection, soak the specimens in 
liquor potassae in the usual manner ; when they are 
sufficiently transparent, complete the dissection, and 
boil them in clean liquor potassce for ten seconds : wash 
them in distilled water, soak them for at least half an 
hour in acetic acid. [It does no injury to leave them 
in this for a week, but an hour or so is all that is 
needful.] This gets rid of all potash. Wash them 
well in distilled water, and then in methylated spirit. 
[If they are to be mounted in glycerine instead of in 
balsam, they should be transferred to that medium 
without being put into spirits at all, but only well 

washed in water.] Soak them for a quarter of an 
hour in absolute alcohol, and then in oil of cloves for 
a short time. The oil of cloves is not absolutely 
necessary, but it is safer to employ it. Objects should 
not be left for more than a week in oil of cloves, 
since they are made hard and brittle by it. They 
may now be mounted in balsam or dammar, but it is 
better to wash them first in benzine, in which they 
may be kept for any length of time. Second process : 
For displaying muscles [applicable to naturally trans- 
parent objects only]. Soak for three or four days in 
ether, transfer at once to oil of cloves. Or, if the 
object be curled up, soak it in water to expand it, 
and transfer it to the oil by methylated spirits and 
alcohol, as described in the first process. Third 
process : For the same purpose and with the same 
limitations as process two. Soak for a very short 
time in potash ; be very careful not to press the 
object at all, and proceed as in the first process, but 
without any boiling. 

For soaking in potash I use half-drachm stoppered 
bottles ; for acetic acid, staining fluids, &c, little glass 
pots, which I buy at Baker's for 2d. each. For 
boiling I use little porcelain evaporating dishes with 
handles, which I buy at Griffin & Sons', 22 Garrick 
Street, Covent Garden. 

(To be continued.') 


By E. T. Newton, F.G.S. 

(Read before the Quekett Microscopical Club, 
January 24, 1879.) 

THE structure of the nervous centres of Inverte- 
brate Animals is a subject which is attracting 
some attention at the present time, and I have myself 
been much interested in the study of the insect's 
brain ; but have found some difficulty in clearly 
comprehending the forms of certain of the internal 
parts. In order to get a better knowledge of these 
forms, I was led to construct a model, on a principle 
which I believe to be entirely new. Knowing the 
interest which our honoured president and the mem- 
bers of this club always take in new methods of 
working, I felt constrained to bring the matter before 
you, and it is the purpose of the present paper to 
describe the manner in which this model has been 
constructed. Whether the method will prove avail- 
able for other objects, time alone will show. 

It will perhaps be desirable, before commencing 
the description, for us to call to mind the general 
form of an insect's brain. Some of us endeavoured 
on our last "Gossip night" to get a general know- 



ledge of the anatomy of an insect, and, with regard 
to the nervous system, we noticed that the most 
anterior pair of ganglia, which is placed in the fore 
part of the head, is joined by two large commissures 
to the second pair, which is placed lower down, and 
towards the back part of the head. Through the 
ring thus formed the gullet or oesophagus passes, and 
hence the anterior ganglia, being above, are termed 

' 2 * Lh 

Fig. 91.— Brain of mole-cricket, after Dietl.— id, upper division 
of the brain, or supra-cesophageal ganglia ; lb, lower division 
of brain, or infra-cesophageal ganglia ; cm, commissures be- 
tween upper and lower divisions of brain ; x, a cross-band of 
fibres peculiar to mole-cricket and some other insects ; an, 
antennary nerve ; op, optic ganglion ; o, ocelli ; fg, frontal 
ganglion of stomato-gastric nerve ; 1, 2, 3, nerves to mouth 

From the lower pair of ganglia the nerves are given 
off which supply the mouth appendages. The re- 
searches of Faivre, in 1857 ("Du Cerveau des 
Dytisques dans ses rapports avec la locomotion," 
"Ann. d. Sci. Naturelles Zool." tome viii. p. 245) 
seem to show that the power of co-ordinating the 
movements of the body is lodged in the infra-ceso- 
phageal ganglia, and, therefore, it is not without 
reason that some authors regard these as a part of 
the brain. What follows in this communication refers 
only to supra-cesophageal ganglia, or, as I should 
prefer to call them, the upper division of the 

The general arrangement of the internal structures 
will, perhaps, be best understood by reference to the 
figure given by Leydig, of the brain of Formica rufa 
(fig. 92). (" Tafeln zur vergleichenden Anatomie," 
1864, t. viii.) Upon each side there is a large 
central ovoid mass (pi), which has been termed the 
primary lobe, and this abuts in the middle line upon 
its fellow of the opposite side, while the optic nerve, 
with its ganglion (op), is given off from the outer or 
opposite end. The optic ganglion itself is a very 
complex structure. The antennary lobes (al) consist 
of a number of large rounded masses, which have 
been called cells, but are really made up of a network 
of fine fibres. Above the primary lobe are seen the 
peculiar bodies, having the appearance of half-rings 
(nib), which have been called convolutions, by 
Dujardin. (" Sur le systeme nerveux des Insectes," 
1850, "Ann. Sci. Naturelles Zool." ser. 3, tome xiv. 
p. 195), and have been compared to mushrooms. 

the supra-asophageal ganglia, and the second being 
below, are called the infra-cesophageal ganglia. The 
positions of these parts is 
very well shown in the 
diagram of these ganglia, 
taken from a mole-cricket 
(fig. 91). The upper ganglia 
present two rounded pro- 
minences above, from the 
sides of which the optic 
nerves are given off (op), 
while at the top are seen 
two ocelli. Somewhat lower 
down, and towards the front, 
are two other prominences, 
from which the antennary 
nerves pass off (an). A little 
lower down a nerve is given 
off from each side, the two 
joining in the middle line to 
form the frontal ganglion 
(fg) ; from this a single Fig - 92 ~ Bra!n of For > n ^ rufa, adapted from Leydig.— fl primary lobe ; al, antennary lobe; 
nerve passes DacKwaras along an> nerve t0 antenna . ^_ optic g ang H on ; / e> facetted eye ; o, ocelli ; mi, mushroom-bodies ; 

the upper surface of the 

alimentary canal. Below and 

behind the large commissures (cm) pass to the lower 

ganglia (lb), and, being long in the mole-cricket, the 

two pairs of ganglia are well separated. In some 

insects they are much closer together. 

st, stems of mushroom-bodies ; c, cap of cells covering the mushroom-bodies ; ma, optical 
section of the anterior mass of nervous matter. 

Each of these mushroom -bodies is supported upon 
a stem (st) which passes downwards into the primary 
lobe, where the two lie close to each other, if they 
do not join. 



The exact form of these mushroom-bodies is not 
easy to be made out from preparations such as that 
figured by Leydig, and, indeed, the appearance pre- 
sented by sections does not convey a very clear idea 
of their form. 

In the middle of the primary lobe, as figured by 
Leydig, there is a rounded mass, which he describes 

Fig. 93.— Diagrammatic outlines of sections of the upper part of the brain of a Cockroach. Only 
one side of the brain is here represented. The numbers indicate the position in the series 
of 34 sections into which this brain was cut. mb, mushroom-bodies, with their cellular cover- 
ing ; c, and their stems, st ; a, anterior nervous mass ; m, median nervous mass. 

as a "giant nucleus " {ma), but more recent researches 
have shown that Leydig was mistaken, and that this 
appearance is really the optical section of a cylinder 
of nervous matter, which passes forwards, to end 
abruptly upon the front surface of the brain. The 
structure was correctly described by Dujardin, in 
1850, but does not seem to have been recognised by 
Leydig ; this was, no doubt, due to the method of 
investigation employed by the latter, which consisted 

in clarifying the brain (previously hardened in alcohol) 
in potash solution, or glycerine. 

With regard to the origin of the nerves of the 
ocelli (0), it is desirable that Leydig's figure should 
be verified, for it seems very improbable that they 
should arise from the heads of the mushroom-bodies 
in the ant, and from a different part of the brain in 
other insects.* 

Insects' brains vary very 
considerably as regards the 
development of the mush- 
room-bodies. In ants, bees, 
and wasps they are propor- 
tionately large, and double 
on each side. In the cock- 
roach they are double, and 
moderately well developed, 
and in the mole-cricket there 
is said to be only one on each 
side. Dujardin could not 
detect these mushroom-bodies 
in the diptera ; but recent in- 
vestigations (E. Berger, 
" Untersuchungen iiber den 
Bau des Gehirns und der 
Retina der Arthropoden," 
"Arbeiten des zoolog. In- 
stituts zu Wien," Bd. i. Heft 
ii. p. 173) show that certain 
bodies exist in the blow-fly 
(Musai vomitoria), and the 
house-fly {M, domeslica), 
which, most probably, are 
correctly regarded as the 
homologues of mushroom- 

I had already prepared 
sections of the heads of several 
insects, some of which have 
been exhibited at our meet- 
ings, before I saw the paper 
by Dr. Dietl (" Zeitsch. f- 
wissenschaft. Zool." 1876, 
vol. xxvii. p. 488), in which 
some beautiful sections of 
insect brains are figured and 
described. When I saw them 
I determined to try the method 
he had used for hardening the 
brains, namely, with hyper - 
osmic acid. The insect which I selected to work upon 
was the cockroach (B/aila orientalis). In the first place 
it was necessary to remove the brain from the head 
in a perfectly fresh condition, and this required some 
care, because the organ itself is extremely delicate, 

* I find, since this paper was written, that according to Fli.gel, 
these nerves pass down beside the mushroom-bodies to 

middle of the "brain. ("Zeitsch. 
vol. xxx. suppl. p. 556-) 

f. wissenschaft. Zool." 1878, 



and if the investing membrane be injured the internal 
parts are apt to be squeezed out in the hardening 
process. The fresh brain, cleared from the surround- 
ing parts, was placed for a few hours (6 or 8) in 
an aqueous solution of hyperosmic acid (\ to | per 
cent.) It was then washed and laid in spirits of 
wine. The hyperosmic acid seems to me to be some- 
what uncertain in its action, for sometimes the brains 
remained soft and unstained in the interior, while at 
other times the hardening and staining was most 
successful throughout. 

The next point was to cut up the brain in a definite 
direction into consecutive sections of a known thick- 

So much has been said in this club lately about 
section cutting, that it would only be wearisome to 
attempt to describe the process fully. It may, how- 
ever, be mentioned that a microtome was used, in 
which the screw for raising the object was divided, 
so as to register a thickness of about -^ m inch. 
The brain was embedded in wax, in the usual manner, 
and each slice, as it was cut off, was placed directly 
upon a glass slip in a drop of glycerine, and numbered. 
When the entire brain had been disposed of in this 
way, the sections were cleared of the pieces of wax 
adhering to them, covered with thin glass, and 
cemented down. 

The sections which appear to me the most instruc- 
tive are those cut in a direction as nearly as possible 
parallel to the front of the brain. One brain, cut 
in this direction, gave me thirty-four slices, each 
about ^ inch thick, and as no intermediate pieces 
were lost — although some were subsequently in- 
jured in the process of mounting — I had the whole 
of this upper division of the brain in a consecutive 
series of slices, and, therefore, in a very satisfactory 
condition for work. Any one who, in working out 
structures by means of sections, has endeavoured to 
trace the various parts through a series of slices, will 
understand how difficult it is to keep in mind the 
structures seen in each, so as to picture to himself the 
form of any part when entire. And still more difficult 
is it to convey to others the knowledge which one has 
gained by the examination of such a series. 

Now it seemed to me that, if a drawing of each 
section of the series were made, and the corresponding 
portions in each coloured some definite tint, then the 
structures presented would be much more easily 
understood, inasmuch as they could all be laid before 
the eye at one time. I determined, therefore, to 
prepare such a series of drawings with the camera 
lucida, and the diagrams numbered 2, 4, 6, 10, 13, 
17, 20, 25 (fig. 93), represent the most typical sec- 
tions of this series ; only one-half of each section 
being here represented. 

In section No. 2 may be seen, at the lower part, a 
portion of the antennary lobe («/). In the middle is 
a mass of nervous matter, here distinguished by 
vertical lines, and marked (a). Above this is a cap- 

like portion, distinguished by horizontal lines (c)» 
These are the portions which should be borne in mind 
in passing through the series. 

In No. 4 we find that while the parts noticed in 
No. 2 remain much the same, two dark masses (mb) 
have appeared in the upper portion, close to the mass 
(a), but definitely separated from it. 

In No. 6 the dark masses have increased in size 
and become somewhat curved, but the most obvious 
difference is that the mass (a) has suddenly extended 
inwards and downwards to the middle line of the 
brain (in). 

In No. 10 the dark masses are much more deeply 
curved, the upper portion of the mass (a) is rather 
less, and another process has begun to extend upwards 
and outwards (st). 

In No. 13 the most important point to notice is 
that, while the inner mass (a) has almost disappeared, 
the outer one (st) has extended upwards, and may be 
seen to join the outer dark mass. 

In the 14th section the outer mass (st) joins the 
inner dark mass also, and this junction extends as far 
as the 1 8th or 19th section. 

In No. 17 the outer mass (st) may be seen joining 
both the dark masses, which are here very deeply 
hollowed out. 

In No. 20 the outer mass has entirely disappeared, 
and we have simply a small portion of the lower 
mass (m) left close to the middle line, the dark masses 
are somewhat smaller. The extension (com) seen just 
below the antennary lobe is the commencement of the 
commissure to the lower division of the brain. 

In the sections which follow, all the parts above 
mentioned, excepting the commissure (com), get 
gradually less, and the dark ones are seen, for the 
last time, in section No. 25. The median portion (;«), 
however, may be traced to the 28th section. 

The next step in the process was this : It occurred 
to me that, if the card, upon which these outlines 
were made, were of a thickness proportionate to the 
enlargement of the drawings, and if each were cut 
out, and the whole piled together, one ought to have 
a model of the exterior of the brain. I set to work, 
therefore, to do this, but in order to lessen the labour 
as much as possible, it being merely an experiment, 
it seemed desirable to make one half first, and instead 
of making models of the whole series, the thickness 
of each slice was doubled, so that it was only necessary 
to make seventeen, taking, as a pattern, every alternate 

The material used was soft pine-wood, each 
piece being about \ inch in thickness. Having cut 
out each model slice with a fine saw, the whole 
were piled together in their relative places and 
temporarily fixed, so that the corners might be 
trimmed off, and the result was the form which is 
seen in the model of one half of the upper brain 
(fig- 94)- Tne different slices, however, were not left 
fixed together, but were separated and arranged so 



that they might be taken to pieces, as in the process 
■of cutting sections, and the surfaces thus exposed 
were coloured to represent the sections as they appear 
under the microscope. 

This method of modelling was capable of still 
further development. Having modelled the opposite 
half of the brain upon the same plan, I drew upon 
each of the model sections, thus produced, the out- 
lines of the more important parts, as shown in the 



— oj> 

-~ z ~-=~ml 


no — - 


Fig. 94. — View from the outer side of the 
left half of model of upper part of brain of 
Cockroach. The oblique lines in this and 
fig. 95 indicate the successive slices of 
which each is composed, op, cut end of 
optic nerve ; an, cut end of antennary 

diagrams (fig. 93), and these were then cut out in the 
same manner as a child's dissected map-puzzle. Now 
it will be obvious that by taking from each of these 
" dissected" sections, the part, for instance, which is 
in the diagrams (fig. 93), marked (<r),'and joining' them 
together in their relative places, we shall have a 
model of that particular part ; and by joining, in like 
manner, the dark masses, and those marked (a), (/«), 
(j/), we shall obtain models of the mushroom-bodies, 
with their stems, etc. In this manner the dissected 
portions of this side of the brain were joined together, 
and, after some little trouble in adjustment, one was 
enabled to make the parts fit together in their 
relative places. We have now, therefore, upon the 
left side, a model which may, so to speak, be cut up 
in slices, to show the microscopic appearance of the 
sections (fig. 94), and on the right side, a model of the 
more important internal structures, which may, as 
it were, be dissected out before a class of students 

(fig- 95)- 

I was in hopes that, before reading this paper, I 
should have been able to construct a similar model of 
the brain of a bee, in order to verify the descriptions 
of Dujardin, Dietl, and others, who have worked at 

this insect, but have not yet had the opportunity. 
This, I may say, however, that an examination of 
this model goes far to prove the correctness of their 
descriptions, for we see here a mass of nervous matter 
ending abruptly on the front surface of the brain, 
this extending backwards, and being joined by the 
stems of the mushroom-bodies, and reaching nearly 
to the back of the brain, after being gradually reduced 
in size. The heads of the mushrooms are seen to be, 

as described originally by 
Dujardin, discs folded upon 
themselves, and bent down- 
wards before and behind. 
No doubt the forms of these 
parts differ in the bee and 
the blatta, but still, in their 
principal features, they are 
much alike. 

I cannot help thinking 
that a model such as this 
gives a far better idea of the 
true form of the internal 
parts, than it is possible to 
obtain from a study of sec- 
tions alone, and, indeed, 
even if these minute struc- 
tures are dissected out, there 
is great fear of their being 
distorted in the process. 
But, after all, the great use 
of such models is to enable 
the lecturer, or demonstrator, 
to convey to his students a 
correct knowledge of the 
parts under consideration, 
and I trust that this model may be the means of 
enabling some of us to comprehend, more easily 
than we otherwise should, the complex structures of 
an insect's brain. 

com j 

Fig. 95. — Right half of model-brain seen from 
the inner side, with the parts dissected 
away, so as to show the anterior nervous 
mass, a ; the median mass, m ; the mush- 
room-bodies, mb ; and their stems st. The 
cellular cap, c, has been raised, so as to 
display the parts below ; com, is a part of 
the commissure to the lower portion of 
brain, or infra-ossophageal ganglia. 

British Batrachian Ranunculi. 

SOME ten years ago we could not (perhaps being 
a little prejudiced) believe that all Babington's 
water ranunculi were specifically distinct ; however, 
time has wrought a wonderful change in our opinions ; 
we now look upon them as a beautiful series of 
examples, all differing in some degree, yet linked 
together to form one harmonious whole ; we hope to 
carry this conviction home to all our readers. We 
have often been surprised to find so few of our 
botanists who seemed to care to study these plants, 
and yet they all confess they should like to know 
more about them ; now let us endeavour during the 
present month, to search anew every pond and ditch 
in our neighbourhood, and carefully compare speci- 
men with specimen : we shall all be astonished at the 



Fig. 96. The Water Crowfoot (Ranunculus aquatilis). 

result. To many of our 
readers this will add a new 
study to one which is get- 
ting threadbare. 

Our space being neces- 
sarily limited, we may be 
pardoned by passing over 
the history of the Batra- 
chian ranunculi, without 
any remarks ; our object is 
to make them simple and 
plain to every botanist, for 
so far as our flowering 
plants are concerned, they 
ought to be recognised at 
a glance. 

First, looking at the 
whole of our aquatic ranun- 
culi, we readily perceive 
they naturally divide into 
two sections : 

(A.) Found growing 
only in muddy or boggy 
places, and devoid of 
submersed leaves. 

Fig. 97. — Ranunculus heterophyllu?. 

Fig. 98. — Ranunculus tripartitus. 

(B.) Floating water plants. 
Section I. 

1. Ranunculus ' hederaceus (Linn.). Leaves 
spotted, small. Flowers very small 1 ; pets. 
3-veined. The point of the style, on the carpel 
(seed-vessel) always at the side. 

2. R. Lenormandi (E. B. S.). Leaves much 
larger than above, not spotted. Flowers large ; 
pets. 5-veined. The obovate carpel with a 
terminal point ; syn. R. canosus, (Guss.) 



Section II. 

Div. I. Without floating leaves. 

3. R. trichophylhis (Chaix). Submersed leaves 
dark green ; segments short, rigid, apiculate. Flowers 

very small. Easily 
known by its 
short, pointed, 
dark green leaf- 

4. R. Droitettii 
(F. Schultz). Sub- 
mersed leaves 
bright green, seg- 
ments collapsing 
(i.e. when taken 
from the water 
they are like a 
camel's-hair pen- 
cil when in use), 
not apiculate. 

5. R. fluitans 
(Lam.). Sub- 
mersed leaves very 
long, linear. 
Flowers very 
large. Generally 
found in shallow 
rivers, abundant 
in the Severn. 

6. R. circinatus 
(Sibth.). Segments 
all in one plane, 
rigid, in a round- 
ish outline, forming a flat, rigid disk. Flowers very 

Div. II. With floating tripartite leaves. 

Note. — All the species comprised in this division 
may be recognised better from the illustrations, the 
characters bear such a strong resemblance or simi- 
larity, except to those who have studied them long 
and carefully, 

7. R. heterophylhis (Sibth.). The submersed leaves 
of this species have long filiform collapsing segments. 
Floating leaves nearly circular in outline, and with 
long petioles ; style liooked. 

8. R. confusus (Godr.). Leaf segments not collaps- 
ing? rigid. Floating leaves semicircular, flat ; style 
recurved. The stem of this species rises out of the 

9. R. Bandotiii (Godr.). Floating leaves tripartite. 
Leaf-segments olive-green, apiculate, not collapsing. 
Flower stalks often exceed the leaves in length. 
Carpels inflated at the end. 

10. R. peltatus (Fr.). We combine R. floribundas 
(Bab.) with this species, being unable to detect any 
difference. Flowers numerous, sweetly-scented, large. 
Floating leaves almost circular in outline. 

1 1. R. tripartitus (DC). St. rising out of the water. 
Pets, very small, often slightly tinged with pink. The 

Fig. 99. — Ranunculus Droitettii. 

submersed leaves often absent, then it has a close re- 
semblance to R. Lenormandi. It is a very distinct 

12. R. pseudo fluitans. — Submtrsed leaves long. 

Fig. 100. — Ranunculus Jluitans. 

with flat segments resembling R. fluitans. Floating 
leaves tripartite. Flowers (rarely seen) about as large 
as heterophyllus. This is a very variable plant, some- 
times the segments are collapsing, but more frequently 
long and rigid. 





The following characters are most reliable : 
No. 3. Known at k glance by its dark green leaf- 
segments ; No. 4. leaf-segments light-green, filiform 
and collapsing ; No/ 5. Leaf-segments very long, linear ; 
No. 6. Segments bf leaves having a roundish outline, 
and all in same plane j No. 7. Floating leaves almost 

Fig. 101. — Ranunculus Lenormandi. 

circular ; No. 8. Floating leaves flat, semicircular ; 
No. 9. Floating leaves tripartite ; No. 10. Flowering 
abundantly, and with delicate perfume; No. 11. 
Flowers exceedingly small, submersed leaves very rare ; 
No. 12. Differs from No. 5 chiefly, by having floating 


IN Hertfordshire the primroses were over, 
hyacinths run to seed and later summer flowers 
coming into blossom, when in the middle of May we 
left that county for Shropshire, and stayed at Bucknell, 
on the borders of Wales. Here j;he early spring and 
the summer flowers were all in blossom together. 
We climbed a high hill and passed through an oak 
wood, where the ground was covered with primroses 
and anemones, side by side with Geranium sylva- 
ticum and Lychnis. Masses of beautiful broom grew 
on these hills, Chelidonium in the hedgerows and 
meadows full of Orchis morio. We walked one day 
from the Craven Arms Junction, where the rail to 
Ludlow branches off, to Norton Camp on the top of 
the hill. Close to the camp is a wood, where we found 
Saxifraga granulala growing as thickly as Stellaria 
Holostea does in Hertfordshire. It looked very pretty 
in the long grass on the ledges of the steep rocks 
which overhang the valley where Stokesay Castle lies. 
From Craven Arms Junction it is but a short distance 
by train to Church Stretton, which looks so charming 
lying close under the range of wild hills. 

The Longmynd is windy and treeless, but there is 

plenty of beauty and colour about it. Along the top 
is a broad turf track, smooth as a racecourse, along 
which we walked. We could see the Wrekin and 
Malvern Hills as we climbed upwards from Church 
Stretton, afterwards on the left the Ludlow Hills and 
Clee Hills ; on the right we looked across those 
strange Stiper stones, and out to the Welsh hills over 
the fertile valley, where we could see Bishop's Castle. 

The colour of the foreground to these distant blues 
and pale greens was very remarkable, owing to the 
splendid tints of the whortleberry leaves. On the 
Longmynd they grew in spreading tracts over the 
turf, shading from a deep crimson to brilliant orange. 
The plants were full of light pink blossoms, and our 
feet were covered with honey as we passed through 
them. When nearly at the end of the Longmynd 
range, we descended to the left into the valley near 
the branch line that runs to Bishop's Castle. This 
railway is certainly very rural and unsophisticated ; it 
is grown with grass and weeds, and as we came up a 
flock of sheep which had just been washed in the 
river close by, was driven slowly along the rails with 
much baa-ing and barking of dogs. Children played 
on the line and strolled hand in hand under the gay 
broom bushes which hung in the cutting, oak boughs 
and firs drooped over the fences on either side, and 
almost hid the signal-post. We walked along the 
line also ; the sheep turned off at the little shed which 
served as a station. I sat down to sketch on a heap of 
old sleepers until in course of time a short train came 
slowly up ; the children disappeared, the shepherd 
with his dog under his arm stood to watch us start, 
the broom came in at the windows as we passed 

On the rocks above the Teme, when on our way 
along the hills to Ludlow, we found Lithosperinum 
arvense. Wild garlic spread like a carpet over some 
of the woods. 

The month of May was a very wet one, even for 
Wales. We went to Rhayader by the Builth railway 
in pouring rain, past dreary Llandrindod with its 
miserable attempt at modern streets and smart hotels, 
in the midst of what was once a pretty common enough 
if uninteresting. At Builth Road we saw the name 
of that station very neatly writtenln fine thrift, which 
can be recommended to station-masters. The letters 
are bright green all the winter and covered with pink 
blossoms in the summer. We drove from Rhayader 
up the Nantgwyth valley, beside the Elan, which 
was like a winter torrent, and saw at the edge of the 
oak woods the pale yellow flowers of the Globe 
Flower (Trollius Europaus). Later on we walked 
through meadows full of Trollius near Rhayader and 
Builth. Close to Cwm-Elan is the "Lily Bank," 
of rocks and oak-trees, with lilies-of-the-valley growing 
thickly in beds along the ledges ; the blossoms were 
just coming out. 

We found plenty of Pinguicula in blossom on the 
hills, looking like large bright violets, also Gnapha- 



Hum dioicion. Bird- cherry grew in the hedges. In 
one place was plenty of buckbean {Menyanthes 
trifoliatd). Oak-fern grew near the Elan, and beech- 
fern almost under the little mountain waterfalls. Some 
of the old walls were full of common spleenwort and 
Cy stopfer is fragilis. 

We went to Aberedw, near Builth, and walked over 
the hill to see Llewellyn's Cave, a little three-cornered 
hole with a wooden door. On our way we found 
Saxifraga hypnoides amongst the rocks, and some tall 
specimens of Meconopsis Cambrica. 

Pinner's Hill. -jvl. A. Tooke. 


Pollen. — It is pleasant, if only for a moment, to 
turn away from the bloodshed of Zululand to the 
calm possibilities of scientific research and induction. 
This is suggested to us by a capitally-printed paper 
we have received on "Pollen," read before the 
Natal Microscopical Society in November last by Mr. 
Maurice S. Evans. This paper is a valuable one, and 
gives us a good deal of original research. In the dis- 
cussion which followed, Mr. Adams (thehon. secretary) 
referred to Taylor's "Flowers; their origin, shapes, 
perfumes, and colours," in which it was stated that 
ants never assisted in fertilising plants, the hairs of 
which the author thought were intended to keep the 
ants off. Mr. Adams said he had himself seen ants 
not only carrying off pollen, but entire anthers. This, 
however, only proves that ants are unwelcome visitors 
to flowers. What is meant by the author of 
"Flowers" is not that ants were unable to carry 
off pollen, but that they were unable to beneficially 
effect cross-fertilisation, and that they are insects to 
be guarded against by flowers, rather than welcomed. 

Quekett Microscopical Club. — A conversa- 
zione of this society took place at University College 
on March 14, and was attended by upwards of a 
thousand visitors. The guests on arrival were received 
by the President, Professor T. H. Huxley, who was 
supported by the Vice-Presidents and Secretary. 
Microscopes to the number of 185 were exhibited in 
the museum and libraries by members and their 
friends from kindred societies, in addition to which a 
large number of instruments and objects were dis- 
played by the principal opticians. An interesting 
lecture "On Curious Houses and Queer Tenants," 
was delivered by Mr. May in the Mathematical 
Theatre, and frequent exhibitions of polariscope and 
other beautiful objects and preparations took place in 
dark rooms by means of oxyhydrogen microscopes ; 
whilst an excellent band discoursed sweet music in 
the famous Flaxman Hall. The general arrangements 
were such as to call forth much praise, and the great 
scientific interest and admirable manner in which the 
greater part of the microscopic objects were shown 

could not fail to be remarked. In addition to the 
microscopes there was a good display of stereoscopes 
and objects of interest, including a number of scien- 
tific diagrams contributed for the occasion by Messrs. 
Hardwicke & Bogue. 

A New Method of Preserving Infusoria. — 
The development of minute animalcules in infusions 
of animal and vegetable substances when undergoing 
decay has excited much interest amongst the medical 
profession, on account of the light which recent 
researches have shed upon the mode which bacteria 
have of spreading disease. For the study of these 
minute forms it is very desirable that we should 
possess some means of obtaining a permanent pre- 
paration of them which would facilitate their examina- 
tion. As regards bacteria and vibriones, especially 
those on which M. Pasteur's researches have shed 
so much light, and also those of Professor Tyndall, I 
have been experimenting upon a method by which 
this could be done ; and after some years of patient 
research I have at last been rewarded with a very 
excellent method, and for the benefit of the readers 
of Science-Gossip I now send it you. The follow- 
ing things will be necessary : — A bottle of thin 
Canada balsam diluted with chloroform, a hot-water 
plate and a few glass dishes, and the fixing solution, 
which is made in the following manner : to 25 cc. 
of chromic oxydichloride acid is added 50 cc. of 
water with 5 cc. permanganate of potash. First 
draw a large, ring of white wax upon the slide 
much larger than the covering glass, then place the 
vorticellas which you wish to preserve in the ring 
with some water. When they have attached themselves 
to the slide some of the chromic oxydichloride solution 
must be added, which will instantly fix the specimen 
in the position. After remaining about three minutes 
the water may be poured out, and a few drops of 
chloroform added and poured off, the covering glass 
placed carefully on, and a few drops of dilute Canada 
balsam added so as to flow under the cover, which is 
then placed upon the hot-water plate to dry. Speci- 
mens preserved in this manner retain all the freshness 
of the living animal. — T. C. 


Japanese Deer. — At a recent meeting of the 
Zoological Society, the secretary called the attention 
of the meeting to the herd of Japanese deer (Cervus 
sika) in the park of Viscount Powerscourt, at Powers- 
court, in Ireland, now about eighty in number, and 
gave an account of their introduction and history, 
from particulars supplied to him by Lord Powerscourt. 

Female Deer with Antlers. — This was the 
subject of a paper by Mr. Edward R. Alston, read 
before the Zoological Society, showing that these 



weapons are not unfrequently abnormally developed 
in fertile females of certain species of Capreolus and 
Cariacus, and giving reasons forbelieving that in the 
ancestral forms of deer, they were probably common 
to both sexes. 

The Death of the Manatee. — Mr. Reeves 
Smith, of the Brighton Aquarium, writes : " Will 
you allow me to supplement the interesting observa- 
tions which have already appeared in your contem- 
poraries on the above subject with the following facts ? 
The sirens were formerly no strangers to the shores 
of Britain, for the near relative of the manatee, the 
halitherium, occurs as a fossil in the red crag forma- 
tion of Suffolk. The fossils, though found in the 
Red Crag of Suffolk, are yet generally considered by 
geologists as derived from much earlier beds of the 
Miocene age, which once occupied a large area of 
what is now the German Ocean, whence they have 
been washed out and redeposited, on the coast of 
Suffolk. Similar remains are also found in the 
miocene of Belgium and Germany. The discovery 
of the British species formed the subject of a paper 
by Professor W. H. Flower, F.R.S., Hunterian Pro- 
fessor of the Royal College of Surgeons, and now 
President of the Zoological Society, published in the 
quarterly journal of the Geological Society for 
February (vol. xxx.), in which further details will be 
found." Two skulls of this fossil Sirenian (called 
Halitherium Canhami) are known, one of which (that 
described by Professor Flower) is in the Ipswich 

Mistakes made by Instinct. — In answer to 
J. E. Taylor's suggestion under this heading I send 
the following instances of mistakes on the part of 
the humming-bird hawkmoth. While staying at 
Aigle one summer, I occupied a room hung with a 
light paper on which dark green diamonds of about 
an inch square frequently occurred. I observed a 
humming-bird moth apparently attempt to strike its 
proboscis into a number of these squares in succession, 
and as far as I could see choosing the centre of each 
for its attack. I may mention a similar occurrence 
which I noticed last winter at Mentone, but in this 
case the pattern of the paper was wreaths of flowers, 
but curious to say the moth selected one flower of 
rather a dark colour, and hovered from one example 
of it to another without apparently observing the 
intervening patterns. I may mention that this moth 
is called in the south of France "good news," as it 
is supposed to be an omen of future happiness. — Ebba, 
Cot/ord, Sidmoutk. 

Zeus Aper, or Boar-fish. — A specimen of 
this rare visitant of British waters was obtained from 
a French trawler at Exmouth, on the 19th ultimo. 
It was caught in the Channel, off the Devonshire 
coast, and was still alive when brought ashore. 
Although common in the Mediterranean, Yarrell in 

his "■ History of British Fishes " (vol. i. pp. 169-170) 
mentions only two instances of this fish being caught 
on the English coast, one in October, 1825, in Mount's 
Bay, and another (locality of capture not stated) 
obtained in Bridge water fish-market in April, 1833. 
Probably others may have since been captured. The 
Exmouth specimen measured exactly 5J inches in 
length, and corresponded in almost every particular 
with the excellent description and figure given by 
Yarrell. No transverse bands, however, were ob- 
servable on the sides. A lateral line was distinctly 
visible when the fish was first seen, but in a few days 
thereafter it had entirely disappeared. The foregoing 
notes had just been written when another specimen 
was brought to me this afternoon. It had been 
caught in the morning in the Channel, about sixteen 
miles off the coast, and was landed at Budleigh- 
Salterton. It was nearly an inch longer than the 
Exmouth specimen, and the transverse bands, al- 
though faint, could be distinctly made out. This 
specimen was forwarded to the Editor of Science- 
Gossip. — D. S., Exmouth. 

[We have received one of these specimens of Zeus 
aper, in excellent condition from D. S., and beg to 
thank him for it very sincerely. — Ed. S.-G.] 

Boar-fish {Zeus aper). — Six or seven specimens 
of the boar- fish have been washed on shore here 
during the last fortnight, only two having been seen 
before within the last twenty years. I can only 
account for their appearance by supposing that the 
prevalence of north-east winds has driven them in 
from some station in deep water, such as Couch 
mentions off the Runnel Stone. These same winds 
have driven on shore still more unusual visitors in 
the shape of three large vessels, one of them the 
celebrated American frigate "Constitution." — Julia 
Colson, Swauage, Dorset. 

Marine Zoology. — I feel certain that much 
valuable information in reference to marine dredging 
might accrue if the various readers of Science- 
Gossip would give their local knowledge and experi- 
ence for the benefit of other naturalists. Dredging, 
as a rule, is not successful, unless the locality is 
thoroughly well known and familiar ; indeed, at many 
places along our coast, if the dredge is not placed 
over the exact spot, the haul would be profitless in 
its results. Whilst on a dredging cruise last year, I 
always made notes of those places where the dredge 
had been used, so that at any future time I could 
return to the same locality. I did this by roughly 
marking the position on the chart, and where it was 
possible I made use of land marks, such as, for instance, 
a church or a windmill in a line with a large tree 
bearing N.E. A side mark, or, technically speaking, 
a thwart-mark was then noted, such as the headland 
just clearing the light-house ; this object should be at 
a right angle to the first observation, or as much so 
as is practicable. In returning to the same position, 


ll 3 

it is only necessary to sail until the two lines cross 
each other. As I hope shortly to commence dredging 
operations, visiting Weymouth, Torquay, Plymouth, 
Falmouth, Penzance, and the Irish Channel, any 
information relative to the dredging of these places, 
would be to me of great service. — C. P. Ogilvie, 
Zeis ton, Suffolk. 

" The Popular Science Review." — The last 
number of this excellently edited and old-established 
quarterly journal is a capital one. It contains articles 
on " The Sources and Uses of Iron Pyrites," by 
J. A. Phillips, F.G.S. ; on "The Evolution of the 
Elements," by M. M. Pattison Muir, M.A.; "The 
Structure and Origin of Limestones," by H. C. 
Sorby, F.R.S. ; "The Supposed New Crater in the 
Moon," by E. Neison, F.R.A.S. ; "Entomology," 
by. the Editor (W. S. Dallas, F.L.S.) ; "The Col- 
lapse of the Electric Light," by W. H. Stone ; 
"The Ferae Naturae of the London Parks," by 
J. E. Harting ; &c. 

Notes on the Colour, and on Mounting 
"Noctiluca Miliaris." — It is well known that 
to the Noctiluca miliaris, the phosphorescence of the 
sea is due, at all events, in our own temperate waters. 
Now, although like many of my brother naturalists, 
I occasionally go to the sea-side, on botanical and 
zoological thoughts intent, yet, strange to say, I never 
saw the phenomenon until last summer, and have 
always thought that the descriptions I have read in 
books have been very much overdrawn. For instance, 
in " Le Monde de la Mer," by Mons. Moquin- 
Tandon, there is a particularly graphic description. 
It must be confessed that this account is very much 
like the phenomenon in one particular, it is both 
luminous and glowing ; but at the same time it is 
accurate. Myself and Dr. Worrall had been in a 
yacht to a place some miles from Bangor, North Wales, 
for zoological purposes. It was evening before we 
returned, as the tide was against us, and the wind, 
which had favoured us going, had at last utterly 
failed us. The sea was placid, and it was when we 
had fairly got into Beaumaris Bay, that the full 
beauty of the phenomenon was apparent. The de- 
scription was, as far as we could test it, true to 
nature. We collected in vials numbers of the little 
Noctilucae for examination when we arrived at home 
(the hotel). When we had pretty well exhausted its 
points of interest, we set about mounting some for 
future examination. We mounted them in shallow 
cells, with various preservative media, that we might 
compare the results. We tried balsam, glycerine, 
water (marine and fresh), glycerine jelly, Dean's 
medium, and several others. One or two of the 
slides rapidly deteroriated, others held out for a longer 
period, but the specimens mounted in sea-water, 
retained all their freshness to this date. As the animals 
retain their shape, it would appear that there has 
been no endosmose or exosmose action going on. 

The morning following our excursion, our boatman 
(himself a collector) brought us a two-quart bottle 
rather more than half-full of a red-lead, or rather 
orange-lead coloured substance which he called spawn 
of some kind, and he had brought it to us for micro- 
scopical examination. On placing a small portion 
under the microscope, we found it to consist solely of 
dead Noctilucse. Shortly afterwards we took a stroll 
along the shore, accompanied by our friend the boat- 
man, and he showed us all along the shore an orange - 
red line consisting of the dead bodies of the Noctilucse, 
just as they had been left by the receding tide. 
Having seen no account of the animal possessing 
colour, I thought it might interest the readers of 
Science-Gossip to be made acquainted with this 
peculiar fact. — John E. Lord, Rawtenstall, 


Teratological Notes. — Noticing in your late 
numbers various accounts of malformation of plants 
and flowers accompanied by sketches, I am induced 
to trouble you upon the subject. With regard to the 
sketch of a "monstrous calceolaria," in your February 
number, it is of the most common occurrence, especially 
in the " Prince of Orange " variety, as I have had year 
by year many identically similar malformed flowers, 
both in the red and yellow varieties, blooming in my 
garden, but have noticed that the plant producing 
them, although apparently vigorous, soon withered 
and died. I send you with this communication a 
synanthic cyclamen, which I believe to be very un- 
usual, but this also is the produce of a weakly-grown 
bulb. May not these abortions be traced rather to a 
last effort of expiring nature than to any variations of 
soil or climate, just as dying fruit trees often pour 
forth an abundant bloom which never matures, and 
the tree shortly dies 1—J. I. 

Rare species found in Jersey. — I found Diotis 
maritime, and Centaurca paniculata in large quantities 
on the hillside at St. Ouen's Bay, Jersey, during the 
past season. I thought our readers would like to 
know that they still exist in their old localities. — 
W. H. Jones. 

Echium Anglicum (Ray). — Upon looking over 
an old edition of Hudson's "Flora Anglica" I saw 
this species described, also there are a few notes 
upon it, made by myself from actual specimens, 
collected in 1871 at Homer, Shropshire. It is 
evidently first described by Ray (vide Synopsis, 
p. 35), so that it is not a species made to-day upon 
insufficient grounds. Hudson ("Flora Anglica," 
ed. 1762), has three species, distinguished as follows : 

1. E. vulgar e, caule simplici erecto, foliis caulinis 
lanceolatis hispidis, floribus spicatis, staminibus corollam 
equantibus. Viper's Bugloss. 



2. E. anglicum : Stamiuibus corolla longioribus. 
English Viper's Bugloss. 

3. E. italicum : Corollis subcequalibus vix calycem 
excedentibus, margine villosis. Wall Viper's Bugloss. 

The habitat of No. 1 is in fields frequent ; No. 2, 
pasture fields and waysides frequent ; No. 3, Jersey. 
We think it a pity this species should be lost sight 
of, not that we believe the character, depending alone 
upon the length of the stamens, is very valuable as a 
specific distinction. But the Homer examples have 
a widely different habit. Stem procumbent at the 
base, the leaves are linear, and with a soft pubescence, 
and the petals are not more than half the size of 
No. 1. Stamens always exserted. 

Note. — This species (English Viper's Bugloss) 
occurs frequently, both in Staffordshire and Shrop- 
shire. In the above year we could easily detect it 
from E. vulgar e ; when riding along the highways 
we could with ease tell the difference. Would our 
readers give it their attention, during the coming 
season, and let us know the result? for it is not 
pleasant for a species bearing such an honoured name, 
to be overlooked. 

Salicornia. — Hudson, again following his earnest 
predecessor Ray, makes out five distinct forms from 
S. herbacea; probably they are merely varieties of a 
lax type ; however, we mention them to invite the 
study of our enthusiastic amateurs. It requires a 
little courage to face mud flats on the banks of our 
tidal rivers — this may partly account for our limited 
knowledge of these plants. We shall again shortly 
refer to, and describe the forms in our herbarium. 

University College, London': Ladies' Botany 
Class. — The Rev. George Henslow, M.A., F.L.S., 
&c, lecturer on botany to St. Bartholomew's Hospital, 
is about to deliver a course of twenty lectures on 
botany to ladies. We are glad the authorities have 
been so public-spirited as to throw their classes open 
to women as well as men. 


Carboniferous Fenestellid^e. — On Feb. 26, 
Mr. G. W. Shrubsole read before the Geological 
Society an important paper, entitled "A Review 
of the British Carboniferous Fenestellidae," and all 
who have made any attempt to determine species of 
Fenestella must have felt how much a revision was 
required, and in what an unsatisfactory state our 
knowledge of the Fenestellse has been. That Mr. 
Shrubsole should reduce the number of species very 
materially was only what those acquainted with the 
subject would expect, and who would not be much sur- 
prised at his reducing the nineteen so-called species 
which have come under his notice to five. 

Mr. Shrubsole has had splendid material to work 

at from Halkin mountain in Flintshire, and in this 
locality he has seen a specimen of Fenestella plebeia 
having a circumference of two feet, and this shows that 
the variations of different parts of the colony are very 
great, so that ' ' the young, the mature, and aged con- 
dition of the same Polyzoan have been described as 
distinct species ; a similar honour being sometimes 
conferred upon the base and the upper growth." In 
the paper it is maintained that the true type is Ac- 
tinosoma, which has eight denticles set round the 
margin of the aperture. This structure however seems 
only to have been as yet discovered on three species, 
and we shall look forward to future papers from the 
same author, to explain how far he would hold this 
to be the case ; for Polypora and Glauconome must 
certainly be considered as belonging to the Fenes- 
tellidae, even if they may not have in part to be united 
in the genus, and the covers already pointed out by 
Professor and Mr. Young as covering the aperture of 
Polypora and the tuberculated margins of Glauconome 
flexicarinata make it difficult to understand how these 
cells, at any rate, could have'^had raised peristomes 
with denticles like Actinosoma. We may add that 
though there is so much resemblance to the bryozoa, 
or polyzoa, yet that their connection with more recent 
forms has never been worked out ; and that although 
there are some points of affinity with Cheilostomata 
and some with Cyclostomata, proofs as to their exact 
position are yet wanting, and we may therefore be 
allowed to point out to Mr. Shrubsole, that if he can 
bring forward any points of shell structure, to eluci- 
date the question, he will be adding much to the great 
importance of this first communication. 

The Rainfall of the World. — This is the 
title of a pamphlet by Mr. E. D. Archibald, in which 
an ingenious attempt is made to simplify the general 
question of a connection between sun-spots and rain- 
fall j and in it our readers will find a full statement of 
the supposed relation between famines and sun-spots. 

The Geologists' Association. — We have re- 
ceived Nos. 7 and 8 of the Proceedings of this vigorous 
society, in which Mr. W. H. Hudleston continues his 
invaluable papers on the Yorkshire oolites. 

The Post-Tertiary Deposits of Cambridge- 
shire. — This was the subject of the Sedgwick Prize 
Essay for 1876, and was awarded to Mr. A. J. Jukes 
Browne, B.A., F.G.S. It is now published by Deigh- 
ton, Bell, & Co., of Cambridge, at half-a-crown. As 
might be expected from Mr. Jukes Browne's known 
repute as a writer and geologist, it is a most ably- 
written and attractive essay on the subject, present- 
ing us with an account of the physical features of the 
county, and a description of the glacial deposits, 
the hill-gravels, the valley-gravels of the early river 
system and of the present river system ; and also a 
general correlation of the drift beds of Cambridge- 
shire with those of East Anglia. 



The Late Professor David Page. — We regret 
to have to announce the death of this well-known 
geologist, on Sunday, March 9, at the age of sixty- 
five. Although not distinguished for discoveries in 
the field, few men have done more to make English 
geology so popular and extensively studied as Pro- 
fessor Page did by the numerous admirable books of 
which he was the author, and many readers will hear 
of his death with unfeigned regret. 

The Geology of Northumberland. — Professor 
G. A. Lebour, of the Newcastle College of Physical 
Science, has just published a neatly got up brochure 
having the above title. It was intended originally 
for use in his own geological class, but there cannot 
be a doubt that it admirably fills a want, for we know 
of no trustworthy description of the geology of that 
part of England. The "glacial beds are especially 
interesting, and the Permian, Carboniferous, Silurian, 
and Igneous rocks frequently occur under peculiar 
circumstances. On all these Mr. Lebour has written 
in a style at once accurate and readable. The book 
may be obtained of H. Sotheran & Co., 78 Queen 
Street, London, E.C. 

VONIAN Strata in Canada and the United 
States. — A paper on this subject was recently read 
before the Geological Society, by Mr. G. Jennings 
Hinde, F.G.S. After a sketch of the bibliography of 
the subject, the author described the occurrence of 
Conodonts. In the Chazy beds they are associated 
with numerous Leperditise, some Trilobites, and 
Gasteropods ; in the Cincinnati group with various 
fossils ; and in the Devonian strata principally with 
fish-remains : but there is no clue to their nature 
from these associated fossils. They possess the same 
microscopic lamellar structure as the Russian Cono- 
donts described by Pander. The various affinities 
exhibited by the fossil Cono lonts were discussed ; and 
the author is of opinion that though they most re- 
semble the teeth of Myxinoid fishes, their true 
zoological relationship is very uncertain. 

Annelid Jaws from the Cambro-Silurian, 
Silurian, and Devonian Formations in Canada, 
and from the lower carboniferous in scot- 
LAND. — This was another paper read by the same 
author. After referring to the very few recorded 
instances of the discovery of any portions of the 
organisms of errant Annelids, as distinct from their 
trails and impressions in the rocks, Mr. Hinde 
noticed the characters of the strata, principally 
shallow-water deposits, in which the Annelid jaws 
described by him are embedded. A description was 
given of the principal varieties of form, and of the 
structure of the jaws. They were classified from 
their resemblances to existing forms under seven 
genera, five of which are included in the family 
Eunicea, one in the family Lycoridea, and one among 

the Glycerea. The author enumerated fifty-five dif- 
ferent forms, the greater proportion of which are 
from the Cincinnati group. 

Geology of Essex, &c. — We have received one 
of the "Memoirs of the Geological Survey," giving 
an explanation of sheet 27 of the one-inch map of the 
Survey of England and Wales. It deals with the 
Geology of the north-west part of Essex and the 
north-east part of Herts; with parts of Cambridgeshire 
and Suffolk. The survey is under the direction of 
Mr. W. Whitaker, with whom are associated Messrs. 
W. H. Penning, W. H. Dalton, and F. J. Bennett. 
Not one word of commendation on our part is needed 
to introduce this brochure to our readers, but we are 
glad to call attention to its issue, nevertheless. 


Intelligence in Man and Animals. — Your 
correspondent, Mr. H. D. Barclay, in the January 
number very truly and properly remarked that " the 
great difficulty in the investigation of the minds of 
animals appears to be that man, instinctively and un- 
consciously, unless checked by reflection, explains 
their actions by his own modes and laws of thought." 
This appears to me to contain the whole gist and 
difficulty of the subject, if he means, as I understand 
it, that the unguided impulse of man is to draw 
instant conclusions (if I may say so) of the cause of 
actions in animals by analogy to the cause which 
would have actuated him under like circumstances. 
If it could be proved that we were justified in so 
concluding, the hypothesis that instinct and reason 
are different only in degree would be sufficiently sub- 
stantiated, but as yet nothing worth the name of proof 
has been offered, and I believe it to be incapable of 
proof for the simple reason that the opposite propo- 
sition, viz. that we cannot judge by such analogy, is 
abundantly proved to every one having the most 
rudimentary knowledge of the actions of animals. 
We know that animals can and do do highly "reason- 
able " things intuitively and without reason and 
reflection, and that it is necessary to the order of 
their existence, but the very opposite of this holds 
good with reference to man ; he cannot do reasonably 
anything without reasoning and reflection, and these 
faculties are just as necessary in him to the order of 
his existence, as they are unnecessary in animals to 
the order of theirs. 

Take for instance such actions of animals, as birds 
building their nests, young birds opening their mouths 
to be fed, the admirable way in which they keep 
their nests clean, the hen warning her chicks of the 
presence of the hawk, the chicks flying to their 
mother for protection, young ducks taking to water, 
&c. These instances are sufficient to effectually 
negative the proposition that we are to judge of the 
actions of animals by analogy with the same laws 
that govern the actions of man. If not, where is the 
analogy in these cases, and if in these cases we cannot 
so judge why are we to do so in others ? Or, in other 
words, if we are to judge of some of the actions of 
animals by the law of pure instinct as differing in 
kind from reason, where are we to commence to 
judge of them by a law of instinct not so differing ; 
or again, the above instances proving, as I believe 
they do, that there is an instinct differing in kind 
from reason, are we to believe that animals are 



endowed with both faculties, whilst we know man is 
not ; and again, if the difference is only in degree, 
how is it that as animals have been born in the 
higher degree, i.e. with power to act "reasonably" 
from the beginning of their birth, and thus having an 
immense advantage over man at the starting of life, they 
are so immensely inferior to man, who in comparison 
is born into the lowest degree ? Taking the difference 
as being in degree, then comparing man with monkey, 
the highest degree is in the monkey. The uncul- 
tured man is shown by Darwin's savage to have less 
reason than the uncultured monkey ; this theory there- 
fore would compel us to trace the degree in man 
downward from the monkey, though this is hardly in 
conformity with the theory of evolution. 

As it is capable of proof that animals can act in- 
tuitively with sufficient apparent "reason "for their 
wants, and, as compared with man, are incapable of 
tuition, and that man cannot act at all intuitively, but, 
as compared with animals, is capable of tuition to an 
unlimited degree, it appears to me to be a fair deduc- 
tion that the respective powers of ' ' reason " as actu- 
ating man and animals are of so totally different a 
nature as to be no more the same in kind than a man 
is a species of duck because he can learn to swim. 

The incident of Darwin looking with abhorrence on 
the savage of Tierra del Fuego, and comparing him 
(the savage) unfavourably to a monkey, rather than 
being a proof of the sameness of mind and instinct, is 
a good illustration of the difference of those faculties. 
Look on this picture : Darwin, a man, born with 
no instinct, as far beyond the monkey (who was born 
a thousand times cleverer than he was) as the stars 
from the earth. Then look on that : the savage, a man 
beneath the monkey, simply because he was born 
without instinct, but with a mind, which from degra- 
dation of his race he had not exercised. But he bears 
every impress of the aptitude and attributes of man, 
and as to mind, only differs in degree from Darwin. 
Compare them, and then compare Ihe savage and 
the monkey, and_then see if we cannot get a true 
perception of what constitutes a difference in degree 
and in kind ; if not, let us imagine a young savage and 
a young monkey put through a course of instruction, 
say in arithmetic, it would be an interesting study to 
watch which would learn the "tables" first; but I 
would back the savage. Yet, if we are to take the 
inferiority of state of the particular savage which 
Darwin looked on, as an instance of reason being of 
the same nature as the instinct of monkey, I should 
be backing at long odds. — Robert S. Gilliard. 

Intelligence in Man and Animals. — I should 
like to make a few remarks on the above subject in 
reply to some of your correspondents, if you can 
afford me the necessary space. Mr. Barclay in his 
first communication, says: " If it could be proved 
that a dog deliberately chose one of two courses of 
action, the case of reason would be established." 
Now it seems to me that in their every-day actions, 
animals frequently choose one of two courses of action. 
For instance, if a cat is left alone in a room with a 
bird, its natural instinct would impel it to kill the 
bird and eat it, but it has reason enough to know 
that such a course of action would be followed by a 
certain punishment, the fear of which deters it from 
doing that which mere instinct would certainly prompt 
it to do. A dog knows very well when it has done 
wrong, and the old saying "Like a dog with his tail 
between his legs " is a very expressive one. It may, 
perhaps, be said, that the animal is simply restrained 
from doing a certain action by the fear of consequences. 
Is it not so with man ? What would become of our 
boasted morality, the rights of property, &c, were it 

not for the fear of consequences, here or hereafter ? 
Mr. Barclay admits that animals possess what are 
called moral qualities in man, but denies to the 
unfortunate brute any praise for their possession, as 
they are simply a part of its nature, " primal impulses." 
If such be the case, how can the difference in the 
disposition of animals be accounted for ? Some 
animals are born without those "moral qualities of 
fidelity, attachment, and courage," which, when 
found in the lower animals, Mr. Barclay designates 
"primal impulses," and seem to be actuated simply 
by an unconquerable animosity to mankind in 
general. I do not quite understand your corre- 
spondent, Mr. P. Q. Keegan, when he says : "that 
memory is an act of the intellect, but certainly not an 
act of reasoning in the sense of inferring one proposi- 
tion from another." Memory is the power reason has 
of retaining and arranging facts which come under 
our observation, so that they may be used when 
required, but I certainly do not see how memory 
could possibly exist without reason, or reason without 
memory. Mr. Barclay admits that animals have some 
intelligence and memory, but questions their power of 
reasoning, which he says is the root of man's civilisa- 
tion, and makes him a responsible being. Alas ! that 
the power should be so perverted as it sometimes is ! 
Has Mr. Barclay forgotten that there are various 
races of mankind, and that all are not quite so highly 
civilised as we are in this favoured country ? Again, 
Mr. Barclay says: "Those who credit the lower 
animals with reason, if they are consistent, will also 
credit them with conscience." Why should they not 
be credited with conscience ? As I have said before, 
most domesticated animals know very well when they 
have done wrong, and prepare to suffer for it, just as 
a naughty child would do. In conclusion Mr. Barclay 
says: "Take from man his reasoning power, latent 
though it may be in many cases, yet underlying all his 
conceptions, and we find the idiot who would perish 
but for extraneous aid. Take from the quadruped the 
modicum of reason which Mr. Darwin and others of 
his school attribute to it, and we have an animal 
endowed with some kind of intelligence we do not 
understand, but name instinct." Of course, just as 
the feeling of cold is produced by the absence of heat, 
so if you take away a man's reasoning power, you 
leave him a helpless idiot, without even instinct, and 
if you take away the modicum of reason from the 
quadruped (which Mr. Barclay denies it) you leave 
what may be called simple instinct. Mr. Barclay 
seems to contradict himself in his last sentence. The 
remarks of your correspondents A. Wheatley and 
C. L. W. are very good, and much to the point, but 
"Idea" seems to take a poetical rather than a 
scientific view of the subject under discussion. The 
idea that animals really possess something more than 
mere instinct, and are deserving of more consideration 
than they generally receive, is certainly gaining ground 
amongst the thinking portion of the community, and 
to use the words of Mr. P. Q. Keegan, is seriously 
entertained ' ' by men of the highest culture and 
sanity." — A. C. Rogers, Southampton. 

Intelligence in Man and Animals. — Allow 
me to correct two slight errors in my note in your 
April issue. After the word "effect," the colon 
should be changed to a full stop, as the words "to 
this effect" refer to the "supernatural change" 
previously mentioned. Also "Lopinard" should be 
" Topinard." Your correspondent, Mr. Barclay, 
says that the nature of the lower animals obviously 
differed from ours. But this is not certain, excepting 
that ours is perhaps more perfect. Animals show joy, 
fear, hunger, pain, will, choose larger of two pieces 



of food, &c. These are also parts of our nature ; we 
have not the privilege of folly even ; nor of language, 
for animals certainly have some kind of language of 
their own. I will however return to this point after- 
wards. Even morals are but the rules of society 
adopted by certain people, and are not everywhere 
the same. But " le chien sait que pour ne pas etre 
mordu il ne doit pas mordre, et agit en consequence ; 
il a aussi sa morale" (Topinard). Now in the above 
and similar cases, if our actions are supposed to result 
from reason, why not those of animals ? The effects 
in animals are much the same as in ourselves, why 
not the causes ? If in similar actions in each case, 
we adjudge reason to be exercised in ourselves, we 
cannot, I think, consistently deny such power to 
animals. Again, Mr. Barclay says that if we take 
from man his reason, we leave him an idiot, but if we 
take from the quadruped the modicum of reason 
attributed to it, we leave it endowed with the same 
intelligence, which we do not understand but call 
instinct. Now memory cannot be called instinct. If 
we take memory from man we certainly detract from 
his intellect ; if we take it from animals do not we 
lower their intellectual powers also ? Some savage 
tribes have very little intellect ; there are some who 
cannot count more than two, while a magpie- has 
been known to count three. I do not mean merely 
to repeat the numbers, but to understand them. 
Monkeys will organise bands, appoint sentinels, 
listen to speeches from their leaders for a very long 
time, and have been found to execute, occasionally, 
careless sentinels ; is there no reason about this ? It 
is absolutely necessary to keep poetry, sentiment, &c. 
out of such questions as this, and to reason merely 
from known facts. It is often supposed that man 
alone had reasoning power given to him, and it may 
be very pleasing to our vanity to think so. The older 
naturalists imagined that man and animals were 
totally different, but has it not been shown that they 
are really only different branches of the animal 
creation ? Philology may throw some light on this 
question. It is usually admitted by philologists that 
man invented language. Now, beyond all doubt, 
the earliest languages were very rudimentary and 
imperfect, consisting of mere ejaculations. The great 
reasoning power of men of the present time is in part 
due to language, a medium in which to think. But 
when language was so imperfect, thought must also 
have been rudimentary. Now is it beyond prob- 
ability that the first inventors of articulate speech had 
not much more reasoning power than that shown by 
apes ? Apes have the vocal organs of man, but have 
not yet learned to use them as we have. Conse- 
quently one of the greatest aids to thought is un- 
developed in them. It has only arrived at its present 
state of perfection in man during many thousands of 
years. — A. Wlicatley. 

Intelligence in Animals. — When I was a young 
man I lived in chambers on the ground floor of No. I, 
King's Bench Walk. As the ante-room was dark, 
glass had been let into the upper part of the front 
door. This made it necessary to place the knocker 
lower than is usual. A fine tom-cat was my constant 
companion. As a knock at the door was a very 
welcome sound to me, from the hope it excited of a 
possible client, I was very prompt in answering the 
summons, for I had not then a clerk. My cat had 
thus the opportunity of observing (whether he did so 
in fact is of course the question) that the opening of 
the door immediately followed as a consequence on 
the agitation of the knocker. Certain it is that torn 
on returning from his nocturnal rambles would stand 
on his hind legs and with his fore paws raise the 

knocker and produce as decided a succession of raps 
as a human being could have given. I was generally 
in bed when this occurred and was often unwilling to 
get up to let the truant in. If I remained long 
obdurate he would go round by Whitefriars (how he 
left the Temple I do not know, as the high gates 
were closed) and passing down a lane would climb 
a wall into a garden. By this circuitous and difficult 
route he obtained access to my bedroom window. 
There he would make such a mewing and scratching 
on the glass that I was compelled for peace' sake to 
rise and admit him. I am afraid that I did not 
always receive him with the welcome which his in- 
telligence and perseverance deserved, but we were 
soon good friends again, and it was with great regret 
that I found on my return from a long vacation trip 
that my cat had disappeared. It must be admitted 
that the behaviour of the animal was as if he had 
leasoned thus. " My master does not hear the knock- 
ing because he is in bed ; I must therefore go round 
and rouse him by making a noise at his window." 
Some years ago I told this story to a very eminent 
judge. With a twinkle in his eye he said, " I also 
had a remarkable cat, she would sit on my table as I 
read my briefs and play with the paper, and when my 
eye approached the bottom of a page I could almost 
fancy that she tried to turn it over for me with her 
paw." This satire on my story and the inference I 
was disposed to draw from it, has made me hesitate 
to tell the anecdote except to a sympathising audience, 
but as you are receiving contributions to the subject 
of intelligence in animals, I think it due to the cats 
to put it on record in your columns, as one for the 
exact truth of which I am willing to be responsible ; 
with this object I give my name. — James Hannen. 

Intelligence in the Dog. — I have read various 
notes under the head of " Intelligence in Animals," 
which have appeared in Science-Gossip, and am 
induced to jot down a few particulars respecting a 
sheep-dog of mine, leaving your readers to determine 
the motive power that influences the animal, for I will 
not offer an opinion as to whether instinct or reason 
guides him. He is very fond of a long walk, and 
when I first came to live here used to accompany me 
to the post office, but the distance being trifling, he 
soon refused to go with me whenever he saw any 
letters or papers in my hand, and it is quite sufficient 
now to say, ." I am going to the post," to prevent 
his showing any desire to accompany me when I 
leave the house. He goes every morning into the 
lower end of the village with an elderly gentleman to 
fetch the daily papers, and having discovered that a 
young lady, a friend of mine, takes her morning's walk 
about eleven ; he now returns from the village, 
leaving Mr. B. at the stationer's in time to meet Miss 
R., thus securing for himself two walks. He never 
tries to accompany any of the family who are going 
to church ; it is quite sufficient to say " Sunday," or 
"church" (he was once turned out of church) ; but 
if I am at home, and happen to go for a walk during 
the hours of service, his delight is excessive. He barks 
invariably as we pass the church. — I cannot break him 
of the habit — as if to say to the others who are in 
church : "I am going out, though you would not let 
me come with you." He sleeps in an unused coach- 
house, is fed once in twenty-four hours. When he is 
locked-up for the night, all the larger bones which he 
is unable to eat, he, after picking clean, carries off to a 
corner of the building far away from his bed and lays 
in a tidy heap. — Mrs. Alfred Watney. 

Pride of a Cow. — It is tolerably well known 
that when milch cows kept on a farm are being 
driven out to grass, and when brought home to milk, 



the oldest cow always places herself at the head of 
the herd, and so on, according to their ages, when 
the youngest comes last. But I think it will rarely 
occur that this assertion of pre-eminence over the 
herd is ever carried to such an extent as appears in 
the following instance. A person states that when on 
a visit to a country house where cows are kept, it 
one day happened that he was passing the cow-house 
just at the time when the dairymaid was driving 
home the cows to be milked. They all passed in 
quietly enough, with the exception of one, which 
stood lowing at the door, and resisted every effort of 
the dairymaid to induce her to enter. When the maid 
was interrogated as to the cause of this obstinacy, she 
attributed it to pride ; and when surprise was expressed 
at this, she explained that whenever any other of the 
cows happened to get in before her, this particular 
cow would seem quite offended, and would not enter 
at all, unless all the others were turned out again, 
and she had an opportunity of walking in before them. 
This statement having excited curiosity, and a wish 
to ascertain its accuracy, the maid was desired to 
redouble her exertions to induce the cow to enter ; on 
which she chased the animal through eveiy corner of 
the yard, but without success, until she at last desisted 
for want of breath, declaring there was no other 
remedy than to turn out the other cows. She was 
then permitted to make the experiment ; and no 
sooner were the others driven out, than in walked the 
gratified cow, with a stately air, her more humble- 
minded companions following meekly in her train. — 
Diptoji Burn. 

Laburnum in Autumn. — There are several 
laburnums here which exhibit the peculiarity men- | 
tioned by W. G. I am not botanist enough to say 
whether they differ from the ordinary variety, but do 
not think so, as they exhibit no other mark of 
difference. The second flowering occurs every year 
in the autumn.— J. Forbes Mitchell, Thainstow, N.B. 

Laburnum in Autumn. — I noticed that the flower 
pendants of the laburnum blossoming in September 
were smaller than usual, and it may probably have 
been the variety referred to by your correspondent. — 
R. H. Nisbctt Browne. 

Query as to Flower. — It seems obvious that in 
the lines from " Venus and Adonis," referred to by 
Mr. J. Wheldon, jun., the poet had in his mind the 
mythological story concerning the death of Adonis. 
Cynaras juvenis (Adonis) having died from a wound 
received from a boar, the flower anemone sprang 
from his blood. It is not likely that Shakespeare 
here refers to any other flower. Buchanan, in his 
"Dictionary of Science and Technical Terms," 
points to Adonis autumnalis as the plant deriving its 
name from Adonis. This plant being of the same 
order (Ranunculaceje) and somewhat resembling the 
anemone, might have easily been called in common 
with it.— Charles F. W. T. Williams, Bath. 

Query about Flower.— In Bell's edition of 
Cowley's Poems (1778), book iii. of Plants, p. 147, 
stanza 610, the purple anemone is spoken of as the 
flower stained by the blood of Adonis. 

" Anemone her station took 
* * * * » 

The purple, with its large and spreading leaf, 
Was chosen, by consent, to be their chief; 
Of fair Adonis' blood undoubted strain, 
And to this hour it shows the dying stain." 

I have also seen this legend mentioned in another 
book.— F. L. St. A. 

Query as to Flower.— Mr. J. W. Wheldon, 
jun., asks what flower does Shakespeare refer to in 
the closing stanzas of "Venus and Adonis." 

"A purple flower sprung up, chequered with white." 

I think he means the Pansy, and if he will refer to 
" A Midsummer Night's Dream," and read the 
exquisite passage descriptive of Love in Idleness, 

" I remember 
That very time I said, but thou couldst not," 

he will see the reason for my opinion. In Singer's 
"Shakespeare," the editor says in a footnote, " The 
tricoloured violet, commonly called pansy, or 
hearts-ease, is here meant." It has other fanciful 
and expressive names, such as " Cuddle me to you," 
"Three faces under a hood," "Herb Trinity," &c. 
Is there a description in all literature that can 
compare with this of a simple flower? — H. D. 

Query as to Flower.— With refence to Mr. 
Wheldon's query as to Flower, I would remark that 
anemone is supposed to be the name of the flower as 
the one into which Venus was said to have changed 
Adonis. See Ovid. Metamorph. 1. 10, p. 735 ; but 
classical authorities might here render some solu- 
tion. There is Atiemone Pulsatilla, or Pasque Flower, 
with fine purple flowers — and other species of Adonis, 
all belonging to the Ranunculus family — these latter 
have, according to Mr. Bentham, mostly red or straw- 
coloured flowers ; then the pheasant's-eye comes under 
this head ; the same author states that a variety was 
formerly much cultivated in gardens under the name 
of Flos Adonis. During a residence of some weeks in 
Rome in the spring of 1865, I noticed thousands of 
anemones with red flowers in the extensive grounds of 
the nobility, forming a carpet of scarlet colours. Dean 
Stanley in his work on " Sinai and Palestine," writes, 
"that in the spring the hills and valleys of Palestine 
are covered with thin grass and aromatic shrubs which 
clothe, more or less, all Syria ; they also glow with a 
blaze of scarlet, of all kinds, chiefly anemones. Of 
all the ordinary aspects of the country, he writes, the 
blaze of scarlet colour is perhaps the most peculiar, 
and to those who first enter the Holy Land it is no 
wonder that it has suggested the touching and signi- 
ficant name of " the Saviour's blood drops." — John 

" Honey-Stalks ?" — In Shakespeare's "Titus 
Andronicus " occur the words : 

" Words more sweet, and yet more dangerous, 
Than baits to fish, or honey-stalks to sheep." 

Query, what are " honey stalks ? " Perhaps some of 
your readers may be able to inform me. — C. Foran. 

Dogs affected by the Sound of Music. — 
What is the explanation of the curious effect that 
music (played upon a piano, &c), has upon some 
dogs ? I have a skye terrier about four months old, 
who, when the piano is played, seems to be curiously 
fascinated by the sound, and comes towards it, but 
then howls in a most plaintive way with his nose in 
the air, as if protesting against the sound. — W. 
Stavenhagen Jones. 

Cossus at Sugar. — In the month of September, 
1877, while at Somersham (Hants) a specimen of 
Cossus ligniperda came to sugar. It rather surprised 
me, as I thought this species did not come to sugar. 
If any reader of Science-Gossip can answer this for 
me, I shall be much obliged. — W. H. Newberry. 



Feeding Bullfinches with Hempseed (p. 66). 
— Having had several of these birds in keeping, I am 
able to testify that hempseed has no very notable 
effect in darkening the plumage, nor does it appear 
to shorten their lives, as has also been insinuated ; 
not that it is advisable to confine them solely to 
hempseed, I have generally mixed equal proportions 
of crushed hempseed and canary-seed, adding each 
day a little millet or maw-seed. Rape would pro- 
bably be unwholesome to them. It is difficult to 
break them from the hempseed if they have once 
been allowed to have it as part of their diet, I have 
seen them pine under such an attempt. As the bull- 
finch is naturally rather a greedy bird, it is well to 
check caged birds if inclined to over-feed, especially 
when green food cannot be got as a corrective. — 
J. R. S. C. 

Parrots and their Eggs. — I have been advised 
to write and tell you of a very interesting and un- 
common occurrence. My old parrot was bought at 
Norwich in the year 1872 ; I believe she was then 
three or four years old. She was quite ill last week, 
and thinking she was moulting I kept her very warm, 
and when I left the room I covered her cage over ; 
on my return from church last Friday morning, I 
found an egg in the cage ; still she did not get better, 
arid yesterday morning another was laid. The bird- 
fanciers assure me it was a very rare occurrence for 
two eggs to be thus laid, and that it ought to be put 
on record.—^. J. B. W. 

Yew-trees and Cattle. — With reference to the 
remarks in the March number of Science-Gossip as 
to the injurious effects of the foliage of the yew-tree 
on cattle, the following extract from the " Globe " of 
March 21 may be interesting : " Eighteen valuable 
beasts have died at Willingdon, near Eastbourne, in 
consequence of eating branches of yew-tree, probably 
through scarcity of ordinary green food." — E. Lovett, 

Gossamer. — A gentleman, a farmer in this neigh- 
bourhood, told me that while coursing last week he 
saw several fields of wheat and sainfoin that were 
smothered with gossamer. I myself saw a good deal 
floating about in the town, and noticed that instead 
of the clotted appearance it assumes in the autumn, it 
was in long fine threads. Would you kindly tell 
whether this is a usual occurrence in spring, and the 
cause ? — Arthur G. Wright. 

The Name "Primrose." — The editor of a 
scholastic journal has recently stated, in answer to a 
query, that the word "primrose" is a corruption of 
primcrollc, a French word, introduced by our early 
authors. I should be glad to know if this is probable, 
for I have heard also the assertion that our forefathers 
called this flower of spring the "prime-rosy," because 
it was one of the first to appear in the season, "rose " 
being by them used with some latitude, and applied 
to various flowers besides the rose proper. — J. R. S. C. 

Can Worms crawl Backwards ?— Mr. J. G. 
Wood, in a recent article on the common earthworm 
written in a popular periodical, states that the worm 
is so formed that it is impossible for it to crawl back- 
wards. I am sorry to contradict so distinguished a 
naturalist, but scientific facts do not bend to great 
names, and I beg to say that worms can and do crawl 
backwards. It is an unusual method of progression 
or retrogression I allow, and is not to be confounded 
with the sudden jerk by which they start backwards 
into their holes, but that worms can strictly and 
literally crawl backwards when excited by circum- 
stances so to do, I have had ocular demonstration 
on two particular occasions — once when attempting 

to induce a large worm to crawl into a small glass 
tube, which I persistently placed just in front of it 
when it, began to crawl ; irritated apparently by a 
foreign substance being so frequently brought into 
contact with its attenuated head, all at once the 
worm began to crawl backward on the ground for 
a space of four or five feet and at a rate equal to 
about two-thirds of its ordinary forward pace when 
progressing. On another occasion I was attempting 
to make a worm crawl along a path in order to 
calculate the time-rate at which a worm can crawl 
in a mile. The worm persistently attempted to crawl 
to the side grass instead of along the path and to 
prevent it I continually touched its head with a little 
stick, when this worm also apparently annoyed by 
such constant tappings on its head, began to crawl 
backwards a short distance on the path. Perhaps 
some of your readers can confirm this statement. — 
IV. Budden, Ipszvich. 


To Correspondents and Exchangers. — As we now 
publish Science-Gossip a week earlier than heretofore, we 
cannot possibly insert in the following number any communi- 
cations which reach us later than the 9th of the previous 

To Anonymous Querists.— We receive so many queries 
which do not bear the writers' names that we are forced to 
adhere to our rule of not noticing them. 

D. B. (Dudley). — It is very difficult to speak only from leaves, 
they are so much alike, but we believe it is a Musa, perhaps 
M. sapientum. Berkeley's ' Cryptogamic Botany ' is published 
by H. Bailliere, 219, Regent Street, London. 

T. O. Braithwaite. — We do not remember receiving the 
larva? of which you speak. Can you send us other specimens? 

W. A. Durnford (Barrow).— You will find full details as to 
aquarium management, and the manufacttire of artificial sea- 
water in "The Aquarium: its history, structure, and manage- 
ment," by J. E. Taylor. London : Hardwicke & Bogue, price 

E. B. de M. — See reply concerning marine aquaria above. 
We have no doubt you can get materials for making artificial 
sea-water, gravity-beads, &c, at Mr. King's, Sea Horse House, 
Portland Road, London. 

W. E. Milner.— The last edition of White's " Selborne," in 
2 vols., edited by Professor Bell, who lives in White's old house, 
is by far the best yet issued. 

A. Bennett. — We believe yours is the only parcel which got 
wrong out of all our Botanical Exchange Club deliveries. We 
will see that you are righted. 

M. H. Robson. — We do not remember having seen the 
flagellum of Eugletia viridis terminating in a bulb before. The 
specimens you sent reached us aliTe, and we observed that the 
bulb was used occasionally as a kind of sucker against the glass 
sides of the zoophyte trough. 

E. Dickson.— One of the best books we can recommend to 
you is Penning's "Field Geology," published by Bailliere, at 
(we believe) 5^. We are afraid there is no other way of naming 
your fossils than by comparing them with some museum speci- 
mens, or else borrowing the volumes of the Palaeontographical 
Society, or such works as Professor Phillips' "Geology of 

T. G. H. — See reply to query as to the nature of the specks 
on the Seville oranges in April number of Science-Gossip under 
Notices to Correspondents, p. 95, in answer to " G. R. B. 
(Shoreham)." Get Oliver's " Botany," published by Macmillan, 
at 4-r. 6d., and work well at it. All will come right. Thanks 
for your interesting specimens. 

W. G. (Tuxford). — The specimens sent are all sulphate of 
barytes, or "heavy spar." Get Rutley's "Study of Rocks," 
price 4s. 6d. 

George Hastwell. — The fungus is Peziza acetabulum. 
We have carefully examined your fossil from the Millstone Grit, 
but do not think it is an organic remain, but possibly one of the 
numerous surface-markings we often get in beds deposited in 
shallow water. 

J. M. Campbell. — Your zoophyte is Sertularia opcrculata. 

George Turvill. — We have received the slide. The speci- 
men mounted is the flea of the mole, the largest known to affect 
any animal in Great Britain. Its name is Pulex talpa, derived 
from the animal on which it is parasitic. 

George Linton. — Your specimen is an echinoderm, shorn 
of its spines, known as the common heart urchin (Amphidotus 




Well-mounted slides of pigeon despatch, used during the 
siege of Paris, in exchange for two slides of interest, also well- 
mounted. — L. Hawkins, Hillside, Hastings. 

Wanted, good slides, in exchange for well-mounted slides of 
"Challenger" sounding. — H. R. 85 Worcester Street, Higher 
Broughton, Manchester. 

Wanted, the second volume of ' Recreative Science.' Any 
one having a copy for disposal will oblige by addressing (stating 
price) as above. — Charles Butterworth, 88 Sandy Lane, Shaw. 

Wanted, named teeth of fish from Old Red Sandstone of 
Scotland ; interesting objects given in exchange. — W. H. Harris, 
44 Partridge Road, Cardiff. 

Dredging. A gentleman who is going on a dredging cruise 
round the British Isles during the ensuing summer will be glad 
to hear from any one willing to accompany him. — C. P. Ogilvie, 
Sizewell House, Leiston. 

Correspondence and exchange invited during season with 
collectors having duplicate eggs of nightjar, less-spotted wood- 
pecker, dotterel, hawfinch, twite, &c, by R. Standen, Goos- 
nargh, Preston, Lancashire. 

Wanted, a good clean copy of the " Student's Manual of 
Geology," by J. B. Jukes, 3rd ed., edited by A. Geikie, 
Edinburgh, 1872 ; also N os 15 and 17 for October and December, 
1876, of the " Naturalists' Tour of the West Riding, Consolidated 
Naturalists' Society," full price will be given in each case. — 
H. Crowther, the Museum, Leeds. 

A gentleman slightly acquainted with geology, would be 
glad to correspond with another for their mutual benefit. — 
Address " J." care of Mr. Powell, stationer, Corporation Street, 

Wanted, Phillips' " Geology of Yorkshire." Send particulars 
of price to Harry Muller, Rawdon, near Leeds. 

Good slides of diatom and globigerine ooze (''Challenger" 
dredging) ; also parasite from the gill of salmon, in exchange 
for other good slides. — Nicholas Wright, 8 Duke Street, Lower 
Broughton, Manchester. 

Shells of ' H 'aliotis tuberculata for reptiles or aquarium objects. 
— Charles Foran, Marshfield House, Eastbourne. 

For sections of tamus root, showing starch granules arid 
raphides in situ, send really well-mounted slides to Thomas 
Shipton, Chesterfield. Lists exchanged. 

Furze mite [Tetranychus idicis) a good supply of living 
specimens in exchange for one or two well-mounted slides of the 
same. — E. D. Marquand, Brockenhurst, Hants. 

Wanted to exchange Roscoe and Schorlemmer's "Che- 
mistry," for either of the following; Fownes' "Manual," or 
Gregory's "Handbook of Chemistry," Hooker's "Student's 
Flora," or a powerful pocket lens, lens not to be worth less than 
15s. — J. Pywell, 50 Wellington Street, Leicester. 

A valuable collection of British mosses (120 specimens) with 
notes, from herbarium of late W. Valentine, (offered for Cooke's 
" Handbook of Fungi." — G. E. Massee, 8 West Grove Terrace, 

Asarum Europium, or Asaralaca (1129). Living specimens 
of this rare old British plant in exchange for native living 
plants of any of the following : 1610, 1611, 1613, 1615, 1621, 
1622, 1624, 1625, 1626, 1630, 1631, 1636, 1641, 1642, 1643.— 
James W. Lloyd, Kington, Herefordshire. 

Wanted, 52a, 78var, 129, 175, 250b, 251, 231b, 418a and b, 
492, 501b, 503b, 630b, 651b, 675, 747b, 839, 486b, 853b, 861b, 
927b, 966, 992b, 1020, 1026, 1046, 1 139, 1139b, 1147b, 1237, 1312* 
■1484, 1520b, 1530b, 1535b and c, 1555, 1569a, 1582b, 1631, 
1632, for other rare plants, or exchange lists. — G. C. Druce, 

Duplicates of fossils from Oolite and others for other fossils. 
—J. Purdue, Ridgeway, Plympton, Devon. 

Dried fronds of C. /ragilis, C. officinarum, P. vnlgare, P. 
Dryopteris, P. calcareum, in exchange for P. alpestre, P. 
Lonchitis, L. cristata, L. temiila, A. septentrionale, A. ger- 
manicum, A. marinnm, A.fontanum, A. lanceolatum, varieties 
or exotic. — John J. Morgan, Tredegar. 

Wanted, Smith and Beck's " Popular Microscope," in 
exchange for first-class transparent sections of coal, plant or 
cash. — James Spencer, Salisbury Place, Halifax. 

Wanted, a low microscope stand, with or without objectives, 
Continental model, Smith & Beck's " Economic," or Universal, 
or similar form ; will give in exchange a triple-nose piece, slides, 
slide cabinets, dissecting instruments, an air pump and other 
microscopic requirements, and a little cash. Must be sent on 
approval, to J. A. Harrison, F.R.M.S., The Laboratory, 31 
Scale Lane, Hull. 

Spines of ophiocoma, and plates of holothuria : two balsam- 
mounted slides for exchange. Send lists to J. B., 36 Windsor 
Terrace, Glasgow. 

Botanical specimens and aid offered in exchange for ento- 
mological. — 3 Belmont Villas, New Brompton, Kent. 

The following unmounted objects for exchange : British and 
foreign zoophytes, flowers of Sparmannia Africana, seeds of 
Libertia ixioidcs (a beautiful object), &c. Wanted, well-mounted 
micro slides, also British and foreign zoophytes, and alga for 
herbarium. Foreign correspondence wanted. — B. B. Scott, 24 
Seldon Street, Kensington, Liverpool. 

Draba aizoides from Pennard Castle ; fossil ferns from Dean 

Forest coalfields, in exchange for zoophytes and Chalk fossils. 
Wanted, book on British zoophytes. — A. Thomson, 17 Wynne 
Street, Liverpool. 

Wanted, fossil clausiliae and pupa: from Isle of Wight and 
Essex ; also small ammonites and fossil shells from different 
localities. Recent shells given in exchange. — F. M. Hele, Fair- 
light, Elmgrove Road, Cotham, Bristol. 

Offers in exchange (either in foreign land, or foreign marine 
shells, the former most acceptable) for any of the following 
British land and fresh-water shells, which I have duplicate speci- 
mens of at present — namely, S. oblonga, Lim. involuta, L. 
Burnetti, P. ringens, V. pusilla, V. substriata, V. alpestris, 
V. minutissima, V. angustior, V. Moulinsiana.—'W . Sutton, 
High Claremont, Newcastle-on-Tyne. 

Authenticated side-blown eggs, swallow-tailed kite, 1am- 
mergeier, African buzzard, Waseen chatterer, and several hun- 
dred Indian species. Wanted, birds of Europe (Bree), or eggs 
in exchange. — Sissons, Sharrow, Sheffield. 

Vols. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7/8, unbound (clean) of the " Entomologists' 
Monthly Magazine" (Van Voorst) for Newman's "British 
Moths," microscope, or offers.— R. Colbridge, 57 New Brook 
Street, Hull. 

Interesting unmounted material, mostly marine, such as 
zoophytes, foraminifara, diatoms in situ, and otherwise, algae, 
entomostraca, tadpoles of crustaceans, holothurian plates, sponge 
spicula, molluscan palates, &c. Wanted, class slides, photo 
lens, books on mollusca and fishes or, cash if preferable. — T. 
McGann, Burrin, Ireland. 

Wanted, standard works on natural history, in exchange for 
fossils and algse. A good copy of Goldsmith's "Animated 
Nature," coloured plates, 2 vols., well-bound for four dozen good 
micro slides. — 165 Well Street, Birmingham. 

Auchomenus puellus, in exchange for other good local 
coleoptera. Address, J. W. Pickering, 161 Belgrave Street, 

For piece of Chinese rice paper (pith of tree), send object of 
interest, to Mrs. Skilton, London Road, Brentford, Middlesex. 

Foreign land and fresh-water shells wanted, in exchange for 
American or the rarer British species and varieties. Continental 
exchanges desired. — Edward Collier, 7 Dale Street, Manchester. 


" The Chemistry of Common Life." By Professor Johnston. 
New edition by Professor Church. London : W. Blackwood & 

"The Flowers of the Sky." By R. A. Proctor. London: 
Strahan & Co. 

" Life and Habit." By Samuel Butler. London : . Hardwick 
& Bogue. 

"Microscopic Organisms found in the Blood of Man and 
Animals, &c." By T. R. Lewis, M.B. Calcutta. 

"Certain Effects of Starvation on Vegetable and Animal 
Tissues." By D. D. Cunningham, M.B. Calcutta. 

" The Science Index." January. 

"Proceedings of the Chester Society of Natural Science." 
No. 2. 

" Report of the North Staffordshire Naturalists' Field Club, 

"The Forester. Nottingham High School Magazine." 
Easter, 1S79. 

"Entomological Papers." By C. V. Riley, M.A. 

"Journal of Proceedings of the Winchester and Hampshire 
Scientific and Literary Society." Vol. iii. part i. 1878. 

" Midland Naturalist." April. 

" American Naturalist." March. 

" Revue Mycologique." January. 

" Feuille des Jeunes Naturalistes." April. 

"Guide du Naturaliste." January. 

" Le Monde de la Science et de 1' Industrie." February. 

"Canadian Entomologist." February. 

" Boston Journal of Chemistry." April. 

" Land and Water." April. 

" Journal of Quekett Microscopical Club." No. 39. 
&c. &c. &c. 

Communications received up to 12TH ult. from :— 
E. J. B. W.— W. W. H.-H. R.— D. B.— L. H.— E. D.— 
J. F. R.— T. B. W— T. W. H.— W. B.— H. M. J. U.— J. C. 
— E. J. B. W.— E. L.-W. H. H.— C. P. O.— W. H. J.— 
C. B — J. R. S. C— J. J.— Dr. P. Q K.— J. F. M.— J. H. W. 
— H. W. R.— A. G. W.— M. H. R.— B. R. P.— A. W.— T. G. H. 
— F. L. St. A.— J. M. C— W. G. T.— G. H.— J. C— H. C— 
J. F. U.— J. P. G.— M. M — T. B. L.— J. O. B.— W. A. D.— 
W. E. M.— S. T.— C. F.— E. B. de M.— C. B.— T. S.-W. K.— 
R. S. G— J. S.— H. M.— J. P.— E. D. M.— R. S.— W. H. H.— 
G. E. M.— J. W. L.— G. C. D.— J. J. M.— J. C— F. K.— 
Sir J. H.— W. S. J.— J. B— F. W. M.— Dr. M.— G. H.— 
T. W. D.— M. L. T. W.— J. W. P.— B. M. W.— Dr. D. S.— 
G. M.— T. B. L.— T. McG.— R. C— J. W. S.— W. S.— F. M.H. 
—A. T.— B. B. S.— H. P. M.— J. S. H.— &c. 


12 I 



[Continued from p. 103.] 

ND now as to the 
question of stain- 
ing. Some have 
strong objections 
to staining speci- 
mens, for they say 
that it merely makes 
the object prettier, 
and that the natural 
colour is destroyed. 
These objections 
are quite sufficiently 
answered by the 
consideration that 
staining does more 
than beautify an ob- 
ject, — details visible 
with difficulty or 
not at all in an un- 
stained specimen, 
are easily seen in 
one that is properly stained ; and why, after all, should 
a slide not be made as beautiful as possible ? As for 
destroying the natural colour, that is generally done 
in the ordinary process of mounting. I am therefore 
in favour of staining, if it be properly done. 

The following are the stains which I use : — Dr. 
Beale's carmine fluid. The recipe for this may be 
found in so many books, that it is unnecessary to 
give it again. Aquasous anilin blue. — Dissolve ten 
grains of anilin blue in one drachm of spirits ; add 
half an ounce of distilled water, and half an ounce of 
glycerine, and filter : let the mixture stand for a week 
or a fortnight, and then pour off the clear fluid for use. 
Anilin blue in oil of cloves. — Dissolve five grains of 
anilin blue in half a drachm of absolute alcohol. Mix 
the solution with an ounce of oil of cloves, and filter it 
through blotting paper. Magenta fluid.— 1. A few drops 
of Judson's magenta dye in water, to which a little 
glycerine has been added. This is chiefly for staining 
chitine. 2. A very weak solution of the dye in 
methylated spirit. This is for staining muscles. 
No. 174. 

Haematoxyline. — Boil some logwood in water until a 
strong infusion is made ; filter; dissolve a quarter of an 
ounce of alum in an ounce of water ; mix, say twenty 
drops of the logwood infusion with about an ounce 
and a half of distilled water, and add enough of the 
alum solution to make the fluid a bright purple ; 
filter, and the stain is ready for use. ' With the 
exception of anilin blue in oil of cloves, which is 
rather expensive, all these fluids cost next to nothing. 
No precise directions can be given for staining, 
because the process requires to be varied a little for 
almost every object, but a little information as to the 
various properties of the different fluids will be useful. 
Carmine fluid does not stain chitine in the least, but 
it is excellent for internal organs and muscular tissue. 
The only objection to it is that it will not keep more 
than a month. A solution of hrematoxyline, of about 
one-fourth of the strength of the recipe given above, 
answers every purpose of carmine fluid. It is not 
such a pretty colour, but it will keep very much 
longer. Muscular tissue needs about half an hour's 
immersion in this fluid to stain it a nice colour. 
Haamatoxyline, according to the recipe, stains chitine 
very nicely. The time required to colour the object 
properly varies from half a day to forty-eight hours. 

Specimens stained with carmine or hsematoxyline 
may be mounted in either glycerine or balsam, but 
those stained by any of the other fluids can be mounted 
in balsam only. Aqueous anilin blue is a very useful 
stain. It will stain chitine fairly well, but not when 
it is very hard, as in the barbs of a wasp's sting. It is 
good for such things as mites, flies' mouths, and 
especially for Crustacea, such as entomostraca, wood- 
lice, &c. Magenta will stain anything, but it has a 
special affinity for chitine. It is very soluble in 
alcohol, and specimens stained with it must be 
hurried through the alcohol into oil of cloves in a k\v 
minutes, or all the colour will be washed out. By 
taking advantage of its special affinity for hard 
chitine, a very beautiful and instructive double stain- 
ing may be effected in this way. Use a watch glass 
for soaking the specimens in absolute alcohol : pour 




the alcohol away and drop on a little of the oil of 
cloves anilin blue stain, and leave it not more than 
five minutes. The specimens must then be washed 
two or three times in benzine. The blue drives out 
the magenta from the membranous parts of the 
insect, leaving it in the chitinous portion : a red and 
blue specimen is the result. If the specimen be left 
in the fluid too long, the blue will be precipitated on 
its hairs. The specimen is not spoilt, for the pre- 
cipitate may be immediately dissolved, by dipping 
the object into absolute alcohol. After this it can 
be replaced in benzine directly. It is magenta, and 
especially the oil of cloves anilin blue stain, that the 
natural oil of Canada balsam causes to fade ; but, as far 
as I can see, after about fifteen months' trial, dammar 
has no effect on them, the benzine fixing them per- 
manently. It is therefore better, as precautionary 
measures, not to use balsam for any stained specimens 
whatever, and to thoroughly wash them all in benzine 
before mounting them in dammar. 

"When it is desirable that any insect should be 
stained, in almost every case, the proper time or part 
of the mounting process at which to stain it is after 
the soaking in acetic acid. 

None of the numerous soakings and washings in 
the processes described above is without its reason. 
To give the why and the wherefore of everything 
would take too much space, but, if any important 
washing be omitted, the slide will not turn out so 
well as it ought to do. It is a much less complicated 
matter to mount a specimen in reality than to read 
about it ; but, to make the description as clear as 
possible, I give an abstract of the way in which three- 
fourths of insects may be mounted. The time needed 
for each stage of the process is noted. 

No. I. Soak the insect, or part of it, in liquor 
potassse until transparent enough. Boil in clean liquor 
potassce, ten seconds. Wash in distilled water. 

No. 2. Soak in acetic acid, half an hour. Wash 
in distilled water. 

No. 3. Stain, when necessary. 

No. 4. Wash in spirits. Soak in absolute alcohol, 
three to ten minutes. 

No. 5. Soak in pure oil of cloves, five minutes, or 
in anilin blue oil of cloves three to five minutes. 

No. 6. Wash in benzine. Wash in perfectly clean 
benzine [if stained]. 

[Specimens may be kept in benzine for a long time 
without injury.] 

No. 7. Mount in dammar or balsam. 

None of the other processes have so many stages as 

I will now briefly detail for what kinds of insects 
the various processes are suited, but it is obvious that 
under this head only the most general directions can 
be given. 

Whole insects look best in cells in glycerine, or, if 
opaque, in water, and some may be mounted dry ; 
these media, as I have said above, are not intended to 

display every detail, but only to give a general idea 
of the object. If the insect be rare, so that the 
mounter has no specimens for dissection, some of its 
beauty must needs be sacrificed by the potash and 
balsam process, supposing that it is particularly 
desired to make out some detail, and at the same 
time, to mount the specimen whole. I venture to 
think that no insect larger than a house fly should be 
mounted whole. Those wretchedly flat things, which 
are only fit for magic-lantern slides, such as whole 
garden spiders, butterflies, or even humble-bees, are 
my peculiar abomination. I have seen a great many 
of these "whole insect slides," some by [so-called] 
" first-rate mounters," but in none of them yet have I 
seen the features which make an insect beautiful on the 
one hand and interesting on the other, at all nicely 
shown. In attempting too much everything is lost. 

Almost all dissected parts of insects may be mounted 
in balsam by process I. Only transparent specimens 
should be stained. Double staining is especially 
suited for the following sorts of objects. Bees' and 
wasps' mouths and stings ; gizzards (these doubly 
stained are extremely beautiful) ; spiders' feet ; the 
mouths of most insects ; mites of the family Trombi- 
dium ; in fact, all parts of insects in which there is 
much soft membrane and a little hard chitine. For 
transparent ants and flies, and for such mites as cheese 
mites, soaking in ether (process 2) is suitable. When 
small Crustacea are prepared for mounting [if it is 
wished that the shells be softened], they must be 
soaked for a longer time in acetic acid than is neces- 
sary for insects. I find anilin blue .the best stain for 
some, and hrematoxyline for others. 

I have endeavoured to describe as clearly as I know 
how my methods of preparing insects, and I am told 
that some of my slides are rather successful. I do 
not in the least pretend to entire originality. Some 
of the " dodges," to use a current phrase, "are my 
own invention, " but very many of them are the ideas 
of others (as I consider) improved on. Those who 
wish to make good slides should aim to improve on 
the methods here given, and it is only by trying 
different processes and varying them on the same 
object that success is likely to be achieved. 

Oxford. H. M. J. Underhill. 


IN May of last year, having become possessed of 
two hedgehogs, and as the hedgehog is an 
animal that I had heard so many idle stories about, 
and wishing to learn something about their history 
and habits, &c, I determined to keep them. 

The first experiment that I made, was to duck 
them in a pail of water, in order that self-preserva- 
tion might compel them to unravel themselves, so 
that I could inspect them properly. 

My next move was to provide a suitable residence 
for them ; this was done in the shape of an old box, 


I2 3 

some wire being put in the front, and some hay 
placed in the bottom, which answered, although a 
little cramped for room, admirably. 

About their food I was in great doubt. It would 
be impossible for me to provide a regular supply of 
frogs, snails, &c. However, as a substitute, I tried 
bread and milk, and as they did not eat during the 
day, I was in great fears lest they had died, or would 
not eat at all, and it was with a troubled mind that 
I took my departure from them that night. The 
next morning my fears and doubts were agreeably 
dissipated, by finding the tin empty. I then found 
that my charges were nocturnal in their habits. 

Their staple food was a tin of bread and sweet 
milk, supplied every evening. 

After a short time they left off their shyness, and 
I could handle them comfortably. One morning I 
brought home a handful of snails, which I had met 
with in my rambles and supplied these to them, when 
immediately they commenced to eat them, shells and 
all, from which I augured that they had excellent 
teeth. I next managed to supply them with a few 
frogs, which they relished exceedingly. I noticed 
that whenever the frog was put into their cage, 
the hedgehogs remained perfectly motionless until 
they got a favourable chance, when they made for one 
of the frog's hind legs. 

One morning they were near killing a tame black- 
bird which had inadvertently hopped into their cage, 
but which was rescued in the very nick of time. 

The place where I kept them was a small loft used 
by tinsmiths, and I was wont in the summer nights 
to allow them to ramble about, and the noise that 
they made scrambling over the cans, &c, after the 
mice was astonishing. 

Some people suppose that their pace is slow ; the 
pace of mine was quite the reverse, and they could 
run along pretty quickly. 

They never hesitated about jumping from a height, 
in fact one of them deliberately and coolly threw itself 
down a twelve-foot ladder, bouncing off the steps 
like an india-rubber ball, and when it reached the 
bottom was making off, a proceeding which was 
promptly stopped on my part. 

They were thirsty animals, always drinking when- 
ever they could, so that I placed water in their cage 
every morning for their benefit. 

As regards those old-woman stories circulated 
about the animal, it is needless for me to state that 
they are all fabrications. One night I gave them 
apple slices for the express purpose of trying them, 
and in the morning there was not a tooth print on 
them, in fact the only fruit mine ate were cherries. 

Another calumny is their eating game birds' eggs. 
Now, one night I starved mine, giving them only a 
whole hen egg, and in the morning the egg was 
perfectly whole, not a bruise or crack on it. 

Mine continued thus in the "even tenor of their 
way " till the latter end of October, when a change 

was apparent. They got very fat and ate less, and 
finally went to sleep about November i. I packed 
them in a box with hay. However one of them 
escaped and was not found till February 27. They 
both awoke on March 1, and I may safely say, that 
the one in the box did not receive a pick of food 
during the whole four months of hybernation. When 
they awoke they were very emaciated. 

Their weights before the hybernation were respec- 
tively, 2lbs. 6oz. and 2lbs. ; after, lib. 90Z. and 
lib. 8oz. ; having lost 130Z. and 8oz. respectively. 
During the hybernation they remained rolled up in 
a ball, and their breathing was very loud and 

But in a short time they regained their original 
plumpness, and are now fatter than ever. I am in 
hopes they will breed this year. 

By E. D. Marquand. 

{Continued f?-om p. 99.] 

IT is not necessary to speak of the productiveness 
of the New Forest as an insect-collector's hunt- 
ing-ground, since it is probably better known to 
entomologists than to any other class of naturalists. 
In a given area of country— say twenty miles square 
— the entomologist has decidedly an advantage over 
the botanist : the former may work the same district 
for a lifetime and every year find something new — 
while the latter has a definite, however extensive, 
number of plants to discover. Insects move ; plants 
do not. A dozen close observers possessing the 
requisite knowledge might catalogue the entire flora 
of a district — phanerogamic and cryptogamic — in a 
few years, while the insect fauna would continually 
be receiving fresh additions from the neighbouring 
country, and so be practically inexhaustible. Of 
course, on an island — Guernsey or Jersey, for instance 
— both classes of naturalists would be on a par. 

About fifty species of butterflies, out of a total of 
sixty-four for Great Britain, have been taken here, 
and I am happy to be able to record the occurrence 
of a very rare species which, as far as my knowledge 
goes, has not hitherto been taken in the Forest, or in- 
cluded among its indigenous species. This is the Bath 
White (Pieris daplidice), a fine specimen of which I 
captured on June 12, 1876, in an open wood not far 
from Lyndhurst ; it is now in my cabinet. Singu- 
larly enough, four days afterwards I saw another 
specimen in my garden flying to heliotrope ; it 
alighted two or three times, but as I had no net it 
escaped. C. edusa was out in great force here in 
1877; they first appeared on June 4, the date on 
which they seem to have occurred nearly all over the 
country. In July they disappeared, and the second 
brood came out on August 10, continuing till after 
the middle of October. C. hyale is rare, and so is 

G 2 



A. cratccgi. L. shut pis may always be had by those 
who know where to go for them, for they do not 
wander far from their haunts, though less strictly 
local than A. Galathea, for which I know two stations, 
widely apart. The little Duke of Burgundy Fritillary 
{N. lucina) I have seen and taken, but not in such 
numbers as I did some years ago at Selborne. 
G. c-album occasionally appears, but I never saw it. 
The large Fritillaries and L. Sybilla are very abun- 
dant in all the large woods. 

As every one knows, these are the headquarters of 
the two splendid Red Underwings C. nupta and 
C. promissa, perhaps the most beautiful moths which 

Fig. 102. — Marbled white (Melanagria Galathea). 

Fig. 103. — Marbled white (Melanagria Galathea). 
Upper side. 

the collector can hope to take away, unless they yield 
the palm of beauty to the lovely green D. Orion or 
the fine black and yellow A. villica, of which I once 
netted a variety with almost spotless hind-wings. 
Two years ago I captured a female E. russula : the 
males are tolerably common, but the other sex is, I 
believe, usually considered a great rarity. S. fuci- 
formis is usually abundant just for a short season, 
frequenting rhododendrons. The splendid Emperor 
Moth (S. pavonia) occurs in plenty, but is easier to 
rear from the larva than to catch on the wing. I 
have seen the perfect insect as early as April 18; 
and I once collected in a thorn hedge, and subse- 
quently reared the large smoke-coloured caterpillars 
of the odd-looking Lappet [G. quercifolia). E. Jacobaa: 
is a perfect pest, especially in the larva state, swarm- 
ing in masses on Ragwort. F. piniaria abounds in 
the fir plantations, together with the speckled V. met- 
adata. It would be a needless occupation of space 
to enumerate even a tithe of the good moths that 
occur. Suffice it to say that at least three-fourths of 
the British macro-lepidoptera have been taken here. 
If the New Forest is a favourite hunting-ground 

with lepidopterists, it is scarcely less known to 
beetle collectors, and the coleopterist must possess a 
very fair collection indeed who can spend a week 
here without adding something to it. Carabns nitens 
is occasionally found on moist heaths, but by no 
means so plentifully as one would be led to suppose 
from books ; much more common is the brilliant 
Pixcilus cupret/s, which it somewhat resembles. The 
great stagbeetle abounds, and now and again one 
comes across its smaller relative, Dorctts parallelopi- 
pedus. Once it was my good fortune to come upon 
a dead specimen of the giant longicorn {Prionus 
coriaritts), a most noble fellow, formidable even in 
death. The Rhynchophora are probably very nume- 
rous here ; Hylobius abietis was extremely abundant 
two years ago. I used to find them in all sorts of 
odd corners in and out of the house ; since then I 
have not seen more than a couple. The large and 
handsome Cleonus nebnlosus has come under my 
notice once or twice, together with the little grey 
Gronops hinatus. Cryptocephalus sericens — brilliant 
silky green — occurs in the flowers of Hieracium 

Fig. 104. — Duke of Burgundy 
Fritillary (Nenteobius lucina). 
Under side. 

Fig. 105. — Duke of Burgundy 
Fritillary (Nemeobius lucina). 
Upper side. 

with black and 
a smaller bright green, and I 
-a Jassns, perhaps — which I 

pilosella ; Coccinella 12-punctata, abounds on the 
coast, and so does Opatrum sabidosum ; and among 
young oaks in the forest I have occasionally seen the 
handsome scarlet Skipjack, Elater sanguineus, flying 
in the hot sunshine. 

We have two very elegant members of the cer- 
copidse : Cercopis sanguinolenta, 
crimson elytra, and 
fancy local, species- 
found in abundance in sweeping the marshy border 
of a wood. Dragon-flies are numerous, both in 
species and individuals. By-the-by, if some one 
acquainted with our British neuroptera — the Libelhtla 
section — would send to Science-Gossip a synopsis 
of genera and species, I am sure it would be regarded 
as an act of kindness. 

The Forest-fly {Hippobosca equina) is one of the 
features of the district. Thick, black masses of these 
repulsive insects may be seen on every horse and 
cow ; and while the native cattle, " to the manner 
born," treat them with supreme indifference, a strange 
animal is driven frantic at the approach of one. Can 
any one tell me why ? It is generally supposed that 
their food is the blood of the cattle they infest, but 
the organs of the mouth, which are of extreme sim- 
plicity, seem singularly incompetent to pierce the 
hide of a horse or cow. The impression among some 
of the people here is that they pull out the hairs and 



suck the root bulbs. In favour of this view it may be 
noted that no wound or blood is ever observed where 
these flies have congregated. Perhaps some of the 
readers of this may be able to throw light on the 
subject. By the way, these flies are exceedingly 
difficult to catch, and cannot be killed by a blow. 
I have seen a man's fist brought down on one with 
a force almost sufficient to crush a stagbeetle ; the 
fly gave a little buzz of contempt, and flew to the 
window. In flying their hum is scarcely audible, 
and they alight on the face or hands without being 
felt. They walk sideways, like crabs. Much hand- 

Fig. 106. — Scarce Merveil-du-Jour (Diphthcra 

Fig. 107. — Variety of Merveil-du-JoiirfZ>/>/*- 
thera orion). See Newman's "British 
Moths," page 248. 

Fig. 108. — The Cream-spot Tiger-moth (Chelonia villica). 

Fie. log. — The Clouded Buff-moth 
(Eutliemonia russula). Female. 

somer insects, though certainly more ferocious and 
formidable, are the Tabatii, of which we have several 
species. Collectors are well aware of their blood- 
thirsty propensities ; the bite of the little grey Hicma- 
topota pluvialis is sharp enough, but woe betide any 
one who gets a nip from that sanguinary monster, 
Tabanus bovinns. His loud, booming hum is not 
to be mistaken, but his bite is something to be re- 
membered. I captured a couple while they were 

busy driving their lancets into the nether garments 
(fortunately thick ones) of a companion. 

During last summer I took on the flowers of a 
water-mint a very curious insect —apparently a bee or 
ichneumon-fly — but it was remarkable by the entire 
absence of even the rudiments of wings. A brief 
description, abridged from my journal, may enable 
some one to identify it, in which case I shall be 
thankful for the name and any information about it, 
as I have never heard of apterous bees. Length, 
half an inch ; head, antennae, and legs, black ; eyes, 
small ; ocelli, none ; thorax, bright chestnut-brown, 
with parallel sides, sloping beneath, xvithout traces of 
wings ; abdomen wasp-like, black, with three narrow 
bands of pale golden silky hairs : apex of abdomen 
acute and incurved. 

Before passing on to the botany of this district I 
wish to say just a few words on two sections to which 
I have not been able to give much attention, though 
I have collected and noted a good number of species. 
First, the arachnida — or rather, I should say, the 
araneidte. Atypus Sulzeri, our British Mygale, is 
probably a rare spider in the Forest, at least in those 
parts with which I am familiar, for only one speci- 
men, a male, has come under my notice. Lycosa 
andrenivora is very common on our heaths, and so 
is Tetragnatha extensa, with its long legs stretched 
out in a straight line in the centre of its web above 
a little stream or pool. Epeira umbratica, "a spider 
of most villanous aspect," I have found in old posts, 
and a pretty variety of Thomisns abbreviatus, of a pale 
rose-pink colour, without a shade of yellow ; this 
took on heath blossom, the hue of which it closely 
approached — another instance of insect mimicry. 

Among the mollusca I have to record Clausilia 
dubia — at least, such I take it to be. It measures 
eight lines, while our C. rugosa only averages five ; 
besides which, it is very much larger in every respect. 
Helicella excavata is generally distributed, and, in some 
woods, as Wilverley, very common. H. fidva, also, 
I have found, and Planorbis contortus in some places 
abundantly. The minute bivalve (Pisidium pusillum) 
is very numerous, often in company with the delicate 
little Carychium minimum — a shell so tiny that one 
almost requires a lens to see it at all. 

(To be continued.) 


COLD-BLOODED creatures are commonly not 
credited with any great degree of moral ex- 
cellence. The affections of parent and lover are 
usually supposed to be wanting, and the emotion of 
gratitude is probably never dreamed of in connection 
with creatures so low in the scale of creation. Nor 
probably is it right to invest them with any great 
degree of eminence in this particular. Nevertheless, 
however, it is a real fact that some fishes not only exhibit 



unmistakable signs of the affections alluded to, but in 
one case — the pike — even gratitude seems to be mani- 
fested. My readers may possible smile incredulously 
at the suggestion that any excellence of feeling can 
be associated with the " fresh -water wolf," over 
whose cruel and remorseless jaws the Dantean epi- 
graph, "All hope abandon, ye who enter here," 
might fitly be written. Such, however, is the case. 

As the warm spring weather approaches, and sum- 
mer hastens to ensue, the pike seeks the convenient 
tributaries of the river, or the shallow and weeded 
parts of the lake wherein to spawn. At this time 
the males and females may be presumed to be sepa- 
rate and unmated. Guided by the reproductive 
instinct, however, they more or less quickly pair ; 
and it is just prior to spawning that the delight 
which they experience with each other's society is 
most apparent. The female is generally larger than 
the male, and piscine caresses are mutually indulged 
in. I have frequently seen the male rub his mottled 
sides against his partner, and gambol and dash about 
as if to show off his glee and his prowess as a water 
athlete ; and on one occasion I remember the caresses 
of a two-pound fish were so energetic as to completely 
force the female up on the sloping bank. I captured 
the fish and replaced her in the water at considerable 
distance, but the remorseful widower was in the 
neighbourhood where I had first seen them on my 
return, evidently waiting the return of his mate. 
Whether his patience was ultimately rewarded de- 
ponent saith not. 

The pike is for the most part monogamous. An 
example of this is interestingly given by Mr. Manley 
in his " Fish and Fishing." He says, "I was jack- 
fishing in the lake in Earl Fitzhardinge's park, and 
had left a paternoster for perch baited with gudgeon in 
the sluggish stream above the small bridge. On my 
return from a walk round trolling, I found I had to 
encounter a fine jack which had attached herself to 
the paternoster, and after no little trouble I landed 
my fish, which scaled over 14 lbs. In the same 
manner, and exactly at the same spot, just a week 
afterwards I took another — the gentleman fish this 
time weighing 13 lbs. I have no doubt that these 
were an engaged or rather married pair just at the 
commencement of their honeymoon, and that after 
the cruel (I have often thought since that it was very 
cruel) capture of his bride, the bridegroom, dis- 
consolate, hung about the spot, and so came also to a 
miserable end within a few days of the decease of his 
wife." That it is a very customary occurrence to 
secure a pair of fish from one spot no angler will 
deny. In fact, on taking a good fish from any par- 
ticular spot it is a recognised plan amongst the 
brothers of the craft to try for the other fish. In 
lakes the pairing is certainly more noticeable than in 
rivers. Whether the fishes hunt their food in pairs 
as a rule I cannot say, but that they reside in con- 
tiguity is an indisputable fact. The ruff also will not 

live singly in aquaria, but die off — at least this is my 
experience. Unhappily the jack does not exhibit 
much parental affection, for it is an indiscriminate 
cannibal, and perhaps the best bait for a large pike is 
a small jack. 

Having thus shown that the character of this 
voracious fish of prey is of a somewhat lighter hue 
than generally supposed, perhaps the reader will be 
prepared to hear a further good trait, the existence of 
which is however indubitably more questionable than 
the former. I refer to the exhibition of that rarest of 
virtues in the "genus homo, namely, gratitude. In 
order to justify the idea that Esax Lucius exhibits this 
noble quality, I must refer at ^some little length to 
another fish of widely different family — the tench. 
Now this fish is covered with a thick glutinous slime, 
which is supposed to be of such medicinal worth to 
the piscine tribes that at the "touch of tenches" 
wounds and other disorders that fish is heir to are 
instantly bettered, and if the contiguity of the fishes 
be preserved, are ultimately healed. It is a certain 
fact that trout are rendered healthier by the intro- 
duction of a tench or two amongst them, and I have 
known several instances of the growth of byssus 
being arrested on the advent of this "physician of 
fishes." Camden asserts that this is the case with 
pike, and his language is pronounced with no air of 
hesitation, though he was probably not a naturalist. 
Speaking of Southwark he says, " Here have I seen 
the bellies of pikes which have been rent open have 
their gaping wounds presently closed by the touch of 
tenches, and by their glutinous slime perfectly healed 
up." Of course this assertion may be taken with 
caution, but the concurrent testimony of many 
observers as to the healing power manifested by this 
fish must be in some sort accepted. 

Now here comes in the gratitude of the pike, if the 
idea is not too pretty to be true. Be he ever so 
hungry he never takes a tench. Carp and all other 
fish he will eat incontinently, in fact nothing else 
from a red cork float to a baby, or from a Polish 
damsel's foot to a mule's nose, comes amiss to him, 
but a tench he will not touch. The following admir- 
able verses state the matter better than I can : 

" The pike, fell tyrant of the liquid plain, 
With ravenous haste devours his fellow train, 
Yet howsoe'er by raging famine pined, 
The tench he spares — a medicinal kind ; 
For when by wounds distrest or sore diseased, j 

He courts the salutary fish for ease, 
Close to his scales the kind physician glides, 
And sweats a healing balsam from his sides." 

Who will now deny his pikeship the virtues I claim 
for him — conjugal constancy and affection and grati- 
tude ? By-the-by, speaking of tench reminds me that 
this fish is especially tumultuous in its affection and 
movements during the spawning season, and frolics 
and jostles right lovingly. So much is this the case, 
that I have repeatedly taken them by hand when they 
have been too absorbed in their pursuit of each other 
to be aware of danger. 



The chivalrous courage of the salmonidce in this 
particular is well known. Especially is it so with 
the "lordly" salmon. A Guinevere awaiting her 
victorious Lancelot might emblem a sheeny female 
salmon awaiting her lord as he wages fierce war against 
perhaps four or five other fish all equal to himself in 
size. But shame on female fickleness ; if her champion 
succumbs in the conquest, she is quite prepared, like 
another Queen of Denmark, to receive a new lord 
from amongst the victors. A battle of peculiar fierce- 
ness of this kind is ably detailed by Mr. Newman in 
the "Zoologist" for 1847, page 1650 : "While 
several gentlemen," he says, " of the Preventive ser- 
vice were on their rounds the other day and patrolling 
along the Findhorn between Glenferness and Dalcie 
Bridge, they observed an unusual commotion among 
the spawning-beds of the ford. On approaching the 
spot two large male salmon were seen engaged in 
mortal combat for a female. Never did chivalrous 
knights do battle for the hand of a lady fair more 
fiercely than these lords of the flood. The tranquil 
bosom of the stream was lashed into foam by the 
struggles of the finny antagonists, the object of the 
fray meantime beating silently about, 'spectatress 
of the fight.' From the appearance of the stream 
dyed with blood, and gradually assuming its former 
smooth surface, it was evident that the contest was 
over. One of the salmon at last floundered on the 
surface dead, and the victor, it may be conjectured, 
exhaustedly bore off his prize." From this it would 
certainly appear that this prince of all fishes tastes to 
some extent the vinum damonutn of love. I cannot 
say much for his parental affection, seeing that some 
of the older male-fish are most inveterate devourers 
of the ova and embryo fish. 

Trout are also as fierce and plucky in their love 
affairs, and I have witnessed some magnificent tussles 
in which, like bull dogs, they have torn the flesh from 
each other with unrelenting ferocity. 

For domestic attachments however the stickleback 
stands far above all other freshwater fishes. Towards 
early summer time the male increases in beauty, 
putting on the most gorgeous dress of green and 
silver, whilst his movements become inconceivably 
elegant and swift and full of vivacity. Presently he 
casts his eyes about him for a suitable locality for his 
nest, and having selected a site, perhaps in some tiny 
eddy, he commences to build. The operation of 
building is a work of time, but it is done in a very 
workmanlike manner and carefully. First a foundation 
is laid and cemented with a sort of gluten secreted by 
the fish himself. Against this currents of water are 
projected by the fins of the builder, and sometimes, to 
render certainty doubly certain, he hurls himself 
repeatedly against the structure. His materials are 
pieces of stick and other suitable debris collected in 
the neighbourhood. Having securely built the 
foundation he commences to erect the walls. This is 
effected in the same style, and finally a nest is com- 

pleted, with holes for ingress and egress opposite each 
other. The whole fabric is repeatedly tested as above 
described, and when everything seems firm and stable 
the building is ready for the ova. 

Watching the laborious operations of the industrious 
little gentleman at a respectful distance, behold four 
or five females of decidedly less brilliant appearance. 
When he is ready he with sidelong glances and 
coquettish movements approaches them, and com- 
municates in some inaudible language his wishes and 
desires. Presently a female, responsive to his invita- 
tion, leaves her sisters and follows Sir Stickleback to 
the nest he has prepared. After entering himself and 
passing through he indicates that all is in readiness. 
Lady Stickleback accordingly enters without com- 
punction, and remains hidden for some time. After 
depositing the ova she passes out the other side, and 
he enters to complete the proce-s of impregnation. 
When this is done her ladyship is dismissed, and a 
layer of sand is strewn over the eggs. This accom- 
plished, another female is invited, and the same opera- 
tion ensues, again and again, till four or five layers of 
ova are deposited. Now comes the anxious time for 
Papa Stickleback. The females are very inquisitive, 
and have to be kept back most unceremoniously from 
poking their noses into the nest. They are of a 
decidedly cannibalistic turn of mind also, and would 
devour the objects of their lord's solicitude if allowed. 
So they are sometimes hurled right and left by this 
piscine Paladin in his twinkling armour of many 

After an interval of lesser or greater duration, ac- 
cording to the temperature, the tiny sticklebacks make 
their appearance. The trouble they are now to their 
faithful parent transcends all conception. To keep 
them together and guard them from enemies of all 
kinds becomes his task, and right valiantly does he 
perform it. Combat after combat engages him, both 
females and males are against him, and like a famous 
historical personage his hand is against every one in 
the interests of his tiny family. Now and then one 
little rascal will stray, but only to be brought back 
in its father's powerful jaws, and to receive an 
admonitory shake. At last they are disbanded, 
and ' ' love's labour " for the nonce becomes a thing 
of the past. 

Though not a nest-builder the Miller's Thumb 
exhibits like characteristics to the Stickleback, and 
guards its ova and young with a constancy of 
purpose and ferocity of temper alike amusing and 

I think I have said enough to justify the title of 
this paper. With salt-water fishes I have not meddled, 
but doubtless many instances of constancy and affec- 
tion might be cited in reference to them. The 
variety of fish -life is marvellous, and in the scale of 
being one is sometimes disposed to elevate them 

John H. Keene. 




THE lateness of the present botanical season 
will enable us somewhat to mitigate the con- 
fusion which prevails about Cardamine hirsuta and 
C. sylvatica ; perhaps a few words will make them 
more easily understood. It is very likely that only 
one plant (C. hirsuta) has been examined by many 
workers, hence the confusion. 

1. C. sylvatica (Link). Biennial, radical. Leaves 
veiy few. Leaflets large, light green. Lower leaflets 
only on short petioles distinctly lobed. 

2. C. hirsuta (Linn.). Annual, radical. Leaves in a 
dense rosette. Leaflets all on short petioles, small, 
dark green. 

No. I is our common species, No. 2 is frequently 
ssen by waysides. 

Herb Robert, or Stinking Crane's Bill, now makes 
many a shady lane gay with its fern-like leaves and 
elegant blossoms. Let us spend a few hours during 
the present season in looking over its many pecu- 
liarities : first, we shall find it can adapt itself to all 
kinds of conceivable situations, then we shall observe 
it differs widely in appearance and habit : thus, at 
least, three distinct varieties are met with. 

1. Geranium Robertianum (Linn.), (proper). A large 
straggling plant covered with glandular hairs. Claw 
of pets, equal in length to the blade. Carpels hairy. 

2. G. modes turn (Jord.). A smaller plant, with 
more tufted habit, nearly or quite glabrous (smooth). 

Fig. in. — Leaflet of C. 

Fig. no. — Leaflet of Cardamine 

The illustrations are of the natural size. 

Vegetation of every kind is backward ; this is the 
latest spring we have ever known, but we shall find 
the silver-weed plentiful during the present month. 
The name Potentilla anserina (Linn.) is made to 
cover two very dissimilar forms in our English Floras ; 
having met with them in many counties, we have the 
more confidence in bringing them before our readers, 
and for this purpose have adopted the names in Fl. 
des Environs dc Paris. 

1. Potentilla incana (Cuss, et Germ.). A large plant. 
Leaves densely covered with silvery down on both sides. 

2. P. pusilla (Cuss, et Germ.). A smaller species, 
known by its compact rosette of radical leaves, 
which lie close to the ground, seldom, or with but 
few hairs on upper surface. 

Fig. ii2. — Herb-Robert (Geranium Robertianum). 

Claw of pet. much longer than the blade. Carpels 

3. G. purpureum (Jord.). A beautiful plant, veins 
of leaves and internodes tinged with pink. Pets, 
purple. Leaves finely cut and divided. 

Nos. 1 and 3 are our lowland species ; the smooth 
plant, No. 2, is found on hills; we generally expect 
to find it in gravel pits. 

The common Stork's-bill is now worthy of notice, 
although it is an unpleasant plant to handle. 

4. Erodium cicutarium (Linn.) wherever it occurs, is 
generally seen in abundance, and probably the varieties 
named below are not uncommon in most districts. 

5. E. cicutarium (proper) has flowers whose pets, 
are not spotted, and carpels furrowed. Leaves small, 
not much divided. 

6. E. commixtum (Jord.), a larger and coarser- 
looking plant. Leaves not unlike E. moschatum. 
Upper pets, distinctly spotted at the base. 



7. E. pilosnni (Bor.). Upper pets, not spotted at 
the base. Leaves much cut and divided, with long 
hairs over the whole plant. 

During the past few years, our rambles have chiefly 
been over gravelly and sandy fields ; these, although 
in a great measure barren to the farmer, have yielded 

F!g. 113. — Filago 
canescens (Jord.). 

Fig. 114. — Filago sj>athulata (Presl). 

us a rich harvest ; amongst the rest, the cud-weeds 
have received a thorough investigation, so that now 
we number probably fifty sheets in our British her- 
baria, containing specimens of the Gnaphalia and 
Filago ; the latter are not so numerous, and vary but 
little, but we lay before our readers the British section 
of this genus, because we do not regard F. gallica (L.) 
as a native species — it is now by all our best botanists 
looked upon as a colonist only. 

Filago. — Section 1. Procumbent ; section 2. Erect. 

Section 1. — In " Student's Flora," F. germanica 
(L.) covers all the following forms, viz. : 

1. Filago canescens (Jord.), (species according to con- 
tinental authorities) leaves linear, tomentose. Heads 
of flowers leafless, tips of bracts yellow ; common in 
sandy pastures. Fig. 113. 

2. Filago apiculata (G. E. Sm.), much larger than 
the last ; bracts purple. Keel-shaped, tips deep 
pink. Rare. 

3. Filago spathtdata (Presl) (species). A short 
tufted plant. Leaves spathnlate. Bracts, keel-shaped, 
tips pale yellow. Frequent on gravelly soils. Fig. 1 14. 

Section 2. — 4. Filago minima (Fries). Leaves 
J-inch, very small, lanceolate. A small, slender, and 
erect species, from 6 to 10 inches. Frequent on dry 

A Fishing Rat. — While standing by a stream 
the other day I saw a large grey rat swimming about 
with unusual activity, and observing its movements 
for awhile I saw it dive below a bank, reappear and 
dive again, and so continue for some time ; but at 
last to my surprise it reappeared with a fine trout in 
its mouth, four or five inches in length, and struggling 
in vain for its life, while the rat made quickly for its 
hole apparently elevated with success. — T. Sim, Fyvie. 


By John Wager. 

Part I. 

THE writer, though not a sportsman, has indulged 
in many wild and solitary wanderings through 
Swedish forests and over Norwegian fjelds ; several 
times he has been benighted amid such scenes, yet 
never chanced to make personal acquaintance with 
Bruin in his native resorts, though he frequently heard 
of his proximity, and once saw the remains of a bear 
that had been shot by a peasant on the previous day ; 
he has also collected sundry ursine anecdotes, which 
naturalists inclined for gossip may be willing to hear. 
First, however, it will perhaps be well, for the benefit 
of readers not familiar with the subject, to prefix a brief 
account, from Scandinavian sources, of the natural 
history of the northern bear. 

The peasants of Norway and Sweden distinguish 
several kinds of bears, such as the grass-bear, the 
ant-bear, and the horse-bear ; but these are mere 
varieties, or individuals in different stages of develop- 
ment, of one and the same species. Its colour is 
dark brown or nearly black ; sometimes lighter, and 
especially valued when the fur is tipped with silver- 
grey. A full-grown bear will measure six feet, or 
even more in length, by three feet in height ; and 
weigh from five to six, and occasionally eight, hun- 
dred pounds. Bruin has a sweet tooth in his head, 
and while young at least, usually contents himself 
with a vegetable diet ; — grass, roots, the juicy stem 
and leaves of angelica, whortleberries, cloud-berries, 
and other berries which abound in the forests, in- 
cluding those of the rowan tree ; ants, also, and their 
eggs vary his diet, whence certain bears which habitu- 
ally eat them are called ant-bears ; and the more 
delectable honey, with the comb and larva, which he 
devours with keen zest, quite regardless, in his thick 
coat, of the infuriated bees. During the very dry, 
hot summer of 1868, when bruin's favourite feast of 
whortleberries failed him, he was constrained, said 
Norwegian papers, to quit his customary solitudes, 
and betake himself like a sturdy beggar or downright 
thief, to the vicinage of human dwellings, and there 
lay violent hands on anything devourable that came 
in his way; yet without doing bodily harm to man. 
When, however, the bear gets older, and once gains a 
taste of flesh, he thenceforth prefers it ; and has 
doubtless a regal share of the six or seven thousand 
sheep, goats, pigs, horses, and horned cattle that are 
annually destroyed by wild beasts in Sweden alone. 
A bear may remain a considerable time upon a tract 
without its presence being particularly marked ; but 
should it chance, either from spontaneous impulse, or 
outward irritation, once to kill a domestic animal, it 
is sure, unless prevented, to attack others in quick 
succession ; lurking in the neighbourhood of the spot 
where the cattle graze, and watching its opportunity 
to start from its hiding-place upon any luckless cow 



or heifer that strays from the herd, and striking it to 
the ground with a blow of its heavy paws, or clinging 
to its throat till it falls exhausted from loss of blood. 
The cattle, however, not unfrequently begin the attack, 
and receive the death-blow by rushing, with a loud 
bellow, upon the enemy whom one of them has 
chanced suddenly to espy. 

The prodigious strength popularly ascribed to the 
bear is scarcely exaggerated ; in reference to this, 
bear's sinew formed a constituent of the chain or cord 
by which the terrible Fenri wolf of Norse mythology 
was sought to be bound ; and the Swedish proverb 
which asserts that Nalle (Bruin) does not smite with a 
twig, is true indeed. For with one blow of its massive 
club — its fore-paw — it can strike a heifer to the 
ground ; and, a bear, walking upright, has been 
known to carry a horse in his fore-paws across a 
timber-log placed over a rushing stream. The north- 
ern horse is not however so large as our own. In 
attacking animals it rears on its hind legs and striking 
with its chief weapons send their terrible claws deep 
into the llesh ; but against man it more rarely assumes 
this position ; creeping towards him, more usually, 
on all fours, as if awed by his glance, and making 
use of its teeth. When it would make prey of a 
horse, encountered on open ground, it usually fixes 
the claws of one paw in the horse's neck or breast, 
and allows itself to be dragged away till it can seize 
a tree to hold by with the other, or till the exhausted 
animal succumbs. 

The bear has a good appetite ; in the course of a 
day and night he can eat the most of a young heifer, 
beginning his repast even before the victim is quite 
dead. After satisfying his hunger he either buries 
the remainder of the meal or leaves it on the spot and 
returns soon. ■ He will not, Pontoppidan states, like 
the sneaking wolf, feed on any dead carcase he chances 
to meet with, but likes meat of his killing, nice and 
fresh. Inwards, especially the kidneys, he seems to 
relish most ; cow's-udder too is one of his choice bits, 
and it has often happened that a cow has come home 
to the seater in the evening with her udder torn off. 
Now and then, when it can surprise the vigilance of 
the wild reindeer it indulges in venison ; and on the 
other hand, though not partial to fast-days, 

"The grim, taciturn bear, the anchorite monk of the forest," 
partakes, for a change, when he can get it, of a dinner 
offish. Sometimes he becomes unusually exorbitant 
in his demands ; savage and surly beyond his wont. 
A peasant of Transtrand, the northernmost part of 
the wild province of West Dalecarlia, informed the 
present writer that in 1 850 a monstrous bear infested 
the neighbourhood ; tearing the roofs from byres and 
making sad havoc with the cattle within. Nor were 
the attempts to get rid of this violent marauder at all 
successful, till a peasant at length caught him red- 
handed, and having no weapon more effective than 
his tongue, conjured him with these awesome words : 
" If thou contest to me, thou Satan, I will dash thee 

against the wall ;" whereupon the terror-stricken 
brute "no Christian bear" hurried away, and was 
not seen or heard of in the neighbourhood again. 
When a bear thus breaks into a cattle-shed, after 
slaughtering what he deems sufficient, if undisturbed, 
he always returns the same way, dragging with him, 
usually, a portion or the whole of his victim. 

The bear, if let alone, is not greatly dangerous to 
man ; who, under ordinary circumstances, may gener- 
ally pass within view of him in the forest without 
serious occasion for alarm. But such an interview, 
during summer at least, is not often obtained ; for 
the bear's acute senses — his quick hearing, sight, and 
scent give him timely notice of human approach, and 
he usually keeps out of the way. Even when wounded 
by the hunter's shot he more frequently flies than 
hazards a close fight. If, however, on such occasions, 
the bear does turn upon his foe, the hunter has the 
utmost need of cool nerve and a sure aim, or of a 
sharp weapon, wielded by a strong arm. Such en- 
counters are most frequent with she-bears whose 
young have been shot or taken ; but there are old, 
experienced he-bears also equally ready for a passage 
of arms. Heavy and clumsy as the bear appears 
when tamed, it is agile enough in the wild state \ 
running more quickly than any man, and clambering 
up trees with facility, though it descends them, rear 
foremost, with great caution. It can swim with speed, 
but not very enduringly ; its thick, shaggy, absorbing 
coat being necessarily an encumbrance in the water. 

The bear, like the jettes, a giant brood of old saga, 
retreats before advancing cultivation, but is yet toler- 
ably numerous in the more northerly parts of Sweden, 
where continuous forests cover hundreds of square 
miles ; especially in the wilder parts of Wermland, 
Dalecarlia, and that vast, most northern, division of 
the kingdom called Norrland, which includes LaplancL 
When in Norra, Finskogen, Wermland, a few years 
since, the writer heard of a peasant hunter there who 
during one winter had shot ten bears in the forest 
tract. They are still more frequent in Norway, being 
found to some extent all over the country, right up to 
the Russian frontier ; though very rarely and inci- 
dentally in the southern lowlands, and not very 
numerously in Finmaiken, the northern extreme of 
the land, corresponding with the Swedish Lappmark,. 
or Lapland. The forest and hill tracts of Thelemark, 
the whole province of Throndhjem, Osterdalen, and 
Norrland, the most northerly province except Fin- 
marken, are the localities in which he is now most 
extensively found. His favourite haunts are desert 
regions where pine-forested hills interchange with 
cloven rocks, wide stretches of moss, and mire, and 
grassy, herbaceous plots. From these elevated soli- 
tudes the northern king of beasts often takes a tour of 
longer or shorter duration over the open tracts of the 
higher mountains ; but his proper domains are the 
dusky pine forests that stretch wide over the sub- 
ordinate hills. 



About the end of October, when the stringent 
winter of the North, with its attendant scarcity of 
food, begins to be felt in his high-lying and dreary 
realm, the bear altogether ceases to eat, and prepares 
•a dormitory in which to sleep over the season of cold 
and dearth. This lair, ide or hide* is usually in the 
deep cleft of a rock, under an old tree root, or in a 
pit which he digs for himself, Into such sheltered 
recess he gathers abundance of moss, ling, and spruce- 
twigs ; and in November, with an empty stomach, 
lies down on this soft bed, rolled up usually in his 
thick, furry cloak, with his head between his hind 
feet, and resigns himself to a deep, oblivious sleep 
till the return of milder days. It is believed by the 
peasants that before commencing his long slumber he 
makes a two days' trial of the chosen site, to see that 
it is undisturbed and secure. Nor is sleep afterwards 
always unbroken ; for though he sleeps hard while 
the cold continues extreme, and is quite sluggish if 
then disturbed, yet as spring approaches his slumbers 
are often so light that he awakes and takes to flight 
on the occurrence of the slightest noise, even when 
otherwise he would have enjoyed a long continuance 
of repose. If the prevalence of rainy or foggy 
weather has rendered his dormitory uncomfortably 
wet he will generally turn out for fresh twigs, or in 
quest of a drier site. 

Eating nothing during the whole period of hyber- 
nation the bear wastes the flesh and fat previously 
accumulated ; and though he continues in good con- 
dition till after Yule, is necessarily very lean and 
weak when, in April or May, he leaves his retreat. 
He then at first contents himself with lighter diet, 
such as ants and insect larva;, but gradually taking 
more nutritious food, soon regains his normal weight 
and strength. 

A month after the bear has left his winter lair he 
seeks a mate and the pair associate till into July. 
The female brings fortli her young, in the lair, to- 
wards the end of January ; she has from one to three, 
rarely four, at a birth, and though sometimes she eats 
nothing, she gives them suck. They give no early 
promise of future greatness and prowess, being only 
about eight inches long, blind and toothless ; but 
they wax apace, and have already assumed importance 
when they quit their nursery in spring. The dam 
and cubs keep company till autumn; but if the 
former again becomes pregnant she will not allow 
the cubs to share her winter's retreat, and though 
far from full-grown they must learn to make a bed 
for themselves. In other cases the whole family lie 
together and continue to associate after again emerg- 
ing from the lair; and sometimes do not entirely 
separate before the young are from three to four years 
old, and have founded families themselves. 

{To be continued.) 

* Related to the English hitke, a small haven. 


I SHOULD advise every possessor of a microscope, 
who has not already turned his attention to the 
examination of various seeds, to do so at the earliest 
opportunity, and he will readily admit, after careful 
study, how amply his labours have been rewarded. 

It is my intention in this short paper to give a few 
hints which may be useful to the young microscopist, 
as to the easiest way of preparing seeds as permanent 
objects for the microscope, and also a list of the most 
curious and interesting. 

Some seeds may be mounted dry, whilst others 
require to be put up in balsam ; the first method 
being more simple than the latter, and may be used 
in all cases where the seeds are to be viewed as 
opaque objects, or are very transparent in them- 

Before commencing you will require the following 
apparatus : 

1. Wooden slides with hole in the centre. 

2. Glass slips 3x1. 

3. Thin glass in circles. 

4. Small glass tubes. 

5. Camel's-hair brushes. 

6. Coloured paper for covering object slips. 

7. Bottle of Canada balsam. 

8. Bottle of turpentine. 

9. Bottle of gum mucilage thickened with starch, 
ro. Bottle of cement made by dissolving shellac 

in naphtha. 

II. Spirit-lamp. 

Having these requisites at hand, you may at once 

Suppose for example, you wish to mount some 
seeds as opaque objects. First take one of the 
wooden slides and gum a piece of cardboard over the 
hole in the centre, you will then have a kind of cell ; 
in the middle of this cell paste a small square piece 
of cardboard, then paint the inside with Indian ink. 
When the paint is dry, brush over the square in the 
middle of the cell with gum, and place the seeds in 
various positions on it, and if placed near together, 
you will have a perfect square of seeds. 

Wait then until the gum is dry : and I may here 
mention the advisability of having two or three slides 
in hand at once, so that time may not be wasted. 
After the gum is quite dry, proceed to lay on one of 
the circles of thin glass, which, of course, must be 
larger than the cell. Then dip a camel's-hair brush 
into the shellac fluid, and go round the edge, touching 
the glass and the slide at the same time. If this be 
done properly, the glass (when the shellac is dry) 
will be quite hard and fast to the slide. Some 
people, I know, fasten theirs down with small strips 
of paper ; but I have always found the shellac to be 
just as easy, and to my mind more serviceable. 

Nothing then remains but to finish off with orna- 
mental paper, taking care to label it. 

!3 : 


You will then have a very presentable and interest- 
ing object. 

If the seeds are transparent enough to be viewed 
by transmitted light without being mounted in 
balsam, merely lay them on one of the glass slips, 
cover them with thin glass and cement down with 
the shellac as before. Finish off with coloured paper, 
or if you have a turn-table, run a ring of white lead 
varnish over the shellac ; when this is quite dry add 
another : label and put away in your cabinet. 

Mounting in balsam is somewhat more difficult to 
manage ; but practice makes perfect, and we must 
not be disheartened by failure, but try again. The 
great difficulty seems to be in laying the covering 
glass down without the object shooting to the side, 
or air bubbles making their appearance. However, 
with a little care these difficulties will be overcome. 
The seeds should be allowed to remain for some time 
in turpentine previous to mounting. 

Whilst they are soaking, clean one of the glass slips, 
and with one of the tubes transfer a drop of balsam 
to the centre of it. Then take the seeds from the 
turpentine and lay them in the drop of balsam on the 
slide. Hold the slide for a minute over the flame of 
the spirit-lamp until the balsam runs towards the edge, 
taking care that you do not boil it or spill it. 

Have one of the covering slips ready ; lay it on the 
balsam and lower very carefully. When you have it 
down quite level, and seen that no air bubbles have 
made their appearance, put it between the jaws of an 
American clothes' peg filed flat down for the purpose, 
and set it by to dry. I may here mention that it is 
necessary to keep the slips in a warm place, or else 
it will be weeks before the balsam is quite hard. 

After waiting until the balsam is quite hard set, 
the slide may be cleaned with a rag dipped in spirits 
of wine and finally labelled. 

The following are seeds easily obtained and worth 
mounting as opaque objects : 

Anagallis, Anethum graveolens, Begonia, Carum 
carui, Datura, Digitalis, Elatine, Erica, Gentiana, 
Hyoscyamus, Hypericum, Linaria, Lychnis, Mesem- 
bryanthemum, Nicotiana, Campanula, Petunia. 

The following as transparent objects in Canada 
Balsam : 

Drosera, Hydrangea, Monotropa, Orchis, .Par- 
nassia, Pyrola, Saxifraga. 

There are scores of others which are both beautiful 
and interesting, and I trust that many will be in- 
clined this summer to add most of these to their 

Devonport. Charles H. Dymond. 

Caterpillars and Onion-crops. — For several 
years past the onion crops in this neighbourhood have 
suffered severely from the ravages of the caterpillar of 
some insect. Can any of your readers suggest a 
remedy ? — P., Haslemere. 

By James Fullagar. 

A CORRESPONDENT asks whether the Hydro- 
philus piceus can be reared in captivity. It is 
my opinion that it cannot, as I do not think that the 
proper food of the larva is known. Perhaps the 
following remarks, with the sketches, will help him in 
obtaining the information he needs. On one very 
bright sunny morning in March, 1872, while searching 
for some subjects of natural history, I saw, basking in 
the sun, on some weeds at the surface of a pond, a very 
fine specimen of the female Hydrophilus, which I 
soon, by the aid of my net, transferred to lry bottle. 
As soon as I reached home, I placed her in a glass 
vase, holding a gallon or more of water, in which 
was growing a quantity of duckweed, and other pond 

Fig. 115. — Hydrophilus piceits, in the act of depositing her eggs. 

weeds. She went directly to the bottom and hid 
herself under the weeds. I often noticed her as I 
passed the vase, and on April 20, I observed that she 
had a quantity of white matter at the posterior end of 
her body, and I concluded, as she was at the surface 
of the water, that she was either dying or dead, but 
on examining her closely, I found that she was 
spinning a silken nest, or cocoon, and depositing 
therein her eggs. The nest was held firmly between 
the hind legs, as shown in the sketch (fig. 115). After 
the whole of the eggs were deposited, she covered them 
up, rendering the top gradually smaller and smaller, 
forming a sort of shaft, which, when the cocoon was 
disengaged from between her legs, floated at the 
top of the water, slightly attached to a piece of 
anacharis, with the shaft, or tube, in an upright 
position (fig. 116). When the cocoon was complete I 
removed it to a smaller glass of clear water, so that 
I could have a better view of the young when hatched. 
This I watched from day to day until May 15, when 



I saw the young escaping from the cocoon. I counted 
twenty-five of them. They lived over a month, but I 
had not the proper food for them. From the form of 
the head and the formidable tusks, &c, I concluded 
that they were carnivorous, like the voracious larvce of 

Fig. 116.— Nest or cocoon of Hydrophilus. 

the circulation was visible. I made a large sketch of 
the larva, to enable me tc\ show its form, and omitted 
the middle sections of the Wy, so that the head and 
tail only are shown (figs. 117, 118). I have now by me 
the empty cocoon. The sketch of the beetle and the 
cocoon are of the natural size, that of the larva is, of 
course, much magnified : the real length of the larva 
at a week old was half an inch. 

The following is from Maunder'x "Treasury of 
Natural History," and would, perhaps, be interesting 
to your readers : " Hydrophilus, a remarkable genus 
of aquatic insects, differing from that of Dytiscus 
only in the structure of the antennse, which, instead 
of being setaceous, are short, and furnished with a 
clavated and perfoliated tip or knob. One large 
species, common in our ponds and ditches, is an inch 
and a half long, oval, and of a deep brown colour, 
highly polished. The eggs are laid in a sort of 
cocoon spun by the female, and coated with a gummy 
matter which is impervious to water, on which it floats. 
The larvae are observed to prey on the smaller kinds 
of water snails, tadpoles, &c, and appear very 
voracious ; and they remain about two years before 

Fig. 117. — Head of larva of Hydrophilus (mag.) 

Fig. 11S. — Tail oflarva of Hydrophilus (mag.). 

Dytiscus marginatus. The young larvse were very 
transparent, and the circulation in every part of the 
body was plainly seen, and formed a beautiful object 
under the microscope when placed in a very shallow 
cell ; even up to the end of the curved tail appendages 

they change into pupce or chrysalides. When the larva 
is arrived at its full growth, it secretes itself in the 
bank of the water it inhabits, and, having formed a 
convenient cell, lies dormant for some time, after 
which it divests itself of its skin, and appears in the 
form of a chrysalis ; in this state it remains some time 
longer, when it again releases itself of its exuvire, 
appears in its complete or beetle form, and as soon as 
the elytra or wing-cases acquire a sufficient degree of 
strength and colour, it comes forth from its retreat, 
and commits itself in its new form to its native 
element. It is a curious circumstance that some of 
the species of Hydrophilidse found in this country 
exceed in size those from tropical climates ; many of 
the species are, however, very minute." 

1 34 



Mounting in Canada Balsam. — Being an 
amateur mounter I took an interest in Mr. Under- 
bill's article in lasi month's number of Science- 
Gossip on tbe "Preparation of Insects for Micro- 
scopical Examination," and have no doubt that by 
the time this series of articles is concluded I shall 
have obtained many useful hints, but at the same 
time I think I can myself give a few hints in return, 
particularly with respect to mounting in Canada 
Balsam. Mr. Underhill advises the use of test-tubes, 
in which to keep the Canada balsam. I have never 
used test-tubes myself, but cannot believe they are 
either so handy or cleanly as two-ounce wide-mouthed 
capped bottles, to be obtained at is. each. The 
balsam is applied by means of a small brass rod 
drawn to a point, and always kept in the bottle ready 
for immediate use ; a knitting needle will also answer 
this purpose, but will require cleaning occasionally. 
If, however, very large covers are used, I would then 
advise a glass syringe, as recommended by Dr. 

Then again, I cannot say I like the use of clips, 
and never employ them if I can possibly help it. The 
pressure of the clip causes the covering glass to 
"dish," and when the clip is eventually removed the 
cover springs back to its original position, causing a 
suction all round the edge, and in case of "fluid" 
mounts a running in of the cement ; an apparent 
shrinkage taking place when balsam is used, but 
this is easily remedied. 

When mounting in fluid I prefer to have the cell 
quite as deep as the object, and when the cover is 
put on, if the superfluous fluid be removed by means 
either of bibulous paper or a damped camel's-hair 
brush, it will be found that the cover is held down by 
suction sufficiently firmly to enable a very thin coat of 
cement on and just over the edge, to be dabbed on by 
means of a brush ; when this cement is dry the slide can 
be further washed, as directed by Mr. Underhill, and 
extra coats of cement applied by means of the turn-table. 

I doubt if balsam would ever set without some 
heat, but at the same time I think it very risky to 
apply heat by means of a lamp. My own method is 
to mount without heat, and after the lapse of a day 
or two to place the slide upon the top of a hot- water 
cistern for a bath, the heat of which can be moderated 
as desired by means of slips of wood placed under the 
slide, which will have to remain there for a week or 
even longer, according to the size of covering glass 
and thickness of balsam. 

I could say a little on "coaxing" air-bubbles out 
of Canada balsam ; there is a knack in getting rid of 
these pests. In many cases, however, the bubbles are 
merely vapour of benzole, and will disappear spon- 
taneously in the course of half a day or so, being 
re-absorbed by the balsam. — //. M. 

The Thallus of Diatoms.— In a recent number 
of the " Journal de Micrographie," Dr. M. Lanzi has 
a note on this subject, in which the thallus, or gela- 
tinous stem or stipes, of certain species of diatoms 
is carefully delineated. These gelatinous stems, he 
says, are produced by the accumulation of plasma 
within the cells, which takes place to such an extent 
as to issue from the pustules. This plasma plays the 
part of an organ of vegetation, and therefore does not 
properly afford either by its presence or absence any 
distinction of species. It may furnish nutriment to 
the young diatoms, or even may serve to distribute 
the species by dividing into parts, which are carried 
off by the water. Dr. Lanzi thinks that all genera 
founded upon the character of the thallus and its 
form should be abolished. 

Microscopic Organisms in Blood. — Under the 
title of "The Microscopical Organisms found in the 
Blood of Man and Animals, and their relation to 
Disease," Dr. T. R. Lewis, of the Army Medical 
Department, and who is also Special Assistant to the 
Sanitary Commissioner with the Government of India, 
has published another small quarto work of about 
ninety pages. It describes the various vegetable 
organisms found in blood during splenic fever. 
Pneumo-enteris of the pig, recurrent fever, &c. ; the 
relation of microphytes to disease ; vegetable organ- 
isms in healthy blood ; spirilla and their supposed 
relation to disease ; protozoa in blood, such as 
flagellated organisms, nematoids and their embryos, 
Filaria sanguinis-hominis, &c. This is one of the 
most thoughtful of Dr. Lewis's works. 

Effects of Starvation. — From the office of the 
Superintendent of Government printing, in Calcutta, 
there has just been issued Dr. Cunningham's report 
on "Certain effects of Starvation on Vegetable and 
Animal Tissues," in which we have detailed from 
microscopical examination, and experiment, the full 
effects of a deficient supply of nutritive material both 
on animals and vegetables. In the latter this is 
chiefly manifested by the growth of microscopic 
fungi. The chapter on "Phenomena observed in 
the post-mortem examinations of cases of famine — 
diarrhoea, and dysentery," is a most valuable essay to 
Indian pathologists particularly. We hope Dr. 
Cunningham may be able to continue his important 
researches with the same success as heretofore. 

The Colour of St. Paul's Cathedral, etc. 
— Last year Professor Paley contributed an article to 
Science-Gossip suggesting that the dark colour of 
the stone-work of St. Paul's and other churches 
might be due to organic agency. No answer was 
given to his queries. The " American Quarterly 
Microscopical Journal " states that Professor Leidy 
finds that the black or smoky colour found on old 
walls in narrow shaded streets is caused by an alga 
closely resembling Protococcus viridis. It may be 
this plant in a particular stage, but Professor Leidy 



has provisionally called it Protococcus lugubris. The 
specific name suggests that even microscopists are not 
deficient in humour. 

"The American Quarterly Journal of 
Microscopy."— Since the cessation of the publication 
of the "Lens," until October, 1878, microscopy in 
America was only represented by the unpretentious 
little " American Journal of Microscopy." This, like 
our own Science-Gossip, aimed at giving accurate 
information, divested as far as possible of scientific 
technicalities. It was, however, felt by the leading 
microscopic workers in that country that a journal of a 
higher scientific standard was desirable, and some nine 
months ago the first part of the above-named journal 
made its appearance. With the exception of a few 
typographical errors it was well printed and illustrated, 
and contained much valuable original matter. We 
have just received the third part and perused its con- 
tents with much pleasure. The various papers are 
the productions of men who are well acquainted with 
the subjects on which they have written. The con- 
tents may be thus enumerated :— two histological 
papers : "The Ampulla and Pancreatic Ducts in the 
Domestic Cat " (continued), by S. H. Gaze ; a case 
of "Tubercular Meningitis," by P. J. N. Danforth. 
Two botanical : "The Structure of Ophioglossum," by 
Prof. M. Harrington; "Dubious Forms of Freshwater 
Algae," by the Rev. Francis Wolle. Three 
mechanical: "The Formation of the Paraboloid as an 
Illuminator " (in which he tells us " How it is Done "), 
by F. H. Wenham ; "A few Remarks on Angular 
Aperture and Description of a Universal Aperto- 
meter," by Prof. H. L. Smith ; Two forms of 
"Comparators for Measures of Length," by Prof. W. 
A. Rogers. One on mounting : " Practical Hints on 
the Preparing and Mounting of Animal Tissues," by 
Dr. Carl Seiler (continued). One infusorial : "The 
Simplest Forms of Life," by E. Eyfurth. The two 
first are perhaps too technical for the general reader ; 
the remaining papers will, however, be found interest- 
ing to the microscopical student. Mr. Wenham's 
paper on the "Formations of the Paraboloid " contains 
minute directions for the construction of that very 
valuable accessory. The article commences with a 
reference to a paper read before the Microscopical 
Society (now the R. M. S.) in 1856, in which he 
proposed a right-angled prism, connected to the 
under surface of the slide by a fluid intermedium 
which transferred the total reflecting surface from the 
prism to the top plane of the cover. We quote the 
following paragraph (p. 187), with which our readers 
will cordially agree : "It is to be regretted that in 
this countiy the noble art of mechanical construction 
should be held in such low esteem as not to be con- 
sidered a worthy element of education enabling 
persons to carry their own ideas into practice without 
being stopped by heavy artisan's bills." We supple- 
ment this by remarking that it is also to be regretted 
that but few will take the trouble to learn, even 

theoretically, the principles upon which the micro- 
scope and its accessories are constructed. Professor 
Smith's paper will commend itself to those who are 
interested in the possible angle of aperture of 
objectives. Those who have turned their attention to 
micrometric measurements can appreciate the difficulty 
of subdividing a unit accurately ; we have also the 
difficulty of obtaining some trustworthy division of 
the inch, or the centimetre, with which to compare the 
micrometric divisions, but supposing this obtained 
we rarely find that divisions on the micrometer are of 
equal value. Professor Rogers gives a table of 
measurement of 50 spaces made with the most 
accurate appliances obtainable, and only in one 
instance do the errors correct each other, the largest 
average amount of error was found to^ be x -^§§00 
inch. For ordinary work the slight errors in the 
division of the micrometer are not of more importance 
than an error of ^ inch in the length of a 
carpenter's rule, but when the value of important 
evidence (as in ascertaining the source of blood-stains 
by the average diameter of the discs) depends upon 
perfect accuracy, our readers will see how necessary it 
is that our measuring instrument should be absolutely 
free from error. Dr. Carl Seder's paper is continued 
from the previous number, and contains some valuable 
hints on the preparation, staining, and mounting of 
animal tissues. For the purpose of staining, the 
writer recommends the sulphindigotate of soda, " the 
effect of this mode of staining is to leave the nuclei 
bright red, while the formed material of the cell is 
slightly tinged with blue. The connective tissue 
fibres become stained with a deep blue cover, while 
the blood vessels are purplish and mapped out with 
surprising distinctness ; epithelium and hair take 
this staining in a very curious manner, inasmuch as 
the cells of different ages take different colours, 
varying from a brilliant emerald-green to purple, 
violet and olive-green." Excepting in a few 
special cases, Dr. Seiler prefers a solution of Canada 
balsam, prepared according to Dr. J. T. Woodward's 
formula, as follows : "A clear sample of Canada 
balsam is evaporated either in a water bath by 
artificial heat, or better by placing it in a shallow 
dish and exposing it to the heat of the sun until it 
becomes hard and brittle throughout when cold, and 
until all odour of turpentine has disappeared when 
warm. This resinous balsam is then dissolved in 
warm absolute alcohol to the consistency of thin 
syrup and filtered through flannel. If by accident 
the balsam has become brown during exposure, the 
alcoholic solution may be bleached by exposure to 

"The advantages of this material are that it soon 
becomes hard round the edges of the cover, and can 
be scraped off to finish the slide ; that it never 
crystallises, as other resinous mounting media fre- 
quently do, and that it improves the appearance of 
the object by age. 



" The author gives the following recipe for a cement 
to be used for fixing the covers on glycerine-mounted 
slides, and which he says is glycerine proof. 

"Cox's gelatine, Jii ; acetic acid, fl. ^i ; gum 
ammoniac, gr. x. Dissolve in a water bath, and 
filter through cotton while warm. This cement 
remains fluid when cold and dries quickly. After the 
ring has become set or stiff, the whole slide is 
immersed for a minute or so in a 10-grain solution of 
bichromate of potash, and is then allowed to dry, 
exposed to the light, which makes the bichromated 
gelatine perfectly insoluble even in boiling water, and 
thoroughly prevents the escape of any glycerine." 

This very ingenious method of employing bichro- 
mated gelatine can be used for most fluid-mounted 
preparations, and we have no doubt that where soft 
balsam is used, it would form a very good foundation 
for the coloured cements now so generally employed, 
and effectually prevent their "running on." We 
cordially recommend this journal to those interested 
in microscopical studies, and advise all microscopical 
societies to add it to their libraries. This work in 
conjunction with the Transactions of our own Royal 
Microscopical Society will keep the members posted 
up in the latest microscopic news. — F. K., F.R.M.S. 

Your answer to M. H. Robson anent the Euglena 
viridis leads me to mention the following circum- 
stance. A little while ago, I obtained a sample of 
water from a pond literally green with swarms of 
what was, to all appearance, the Euglena viridis. 
Careful examination of them, however, engendered 
a doubt in my mind as to their identity with the true 
Euglena, for I discovered that the flagellum was in 
each case bulbed. I put the water aside for about a 
week ; on again examining the objects, I was rather 
surprised to find that the Euglena (?) had nearly all 
disappeared, their place being taken by the common 
Funnel Rotifer {Hydratina scnia) in various stages 
of development. This circumstance seemed to con- 
firm my previous suspicion, and favoured the notion 
that the objects first observed were not the true 
Euglena viridis, but were the larvae of the Hydratina 
senta. Has Mr. Robson or others noticed any such 
metamorphosis in the specimens ? If so, will not 
the bulb serve as a feature whereby to distinguish the 
true Euglena from other objects of similar shape and 
colour ? — F. J as. George. 

The Fur on the Tongue.— A singularly in- 
teresting paper has been read before the Royal 
Society, by Mr. H. Trentham Butlin, F.R.C.S., on 
the above subject, in which he showed that the so- 
called " fur" is in a great measure due to the glcea of 
certain forms of microscopical fungi. In order to 
ascertain the true nature of glcea, and to obtain it in 
a purer form, it was cultivated upon a warm stage. 
Several fungi were then discovered, but only two 
kinds were present in every experiment, viz., Micro- 

coccus and Bacillus subtilis. As the glcea produced 
artificially was similar to that existing naturally in the 
tongue fur, Mr. Butlin believes that "fur" is com- 
posed essentially of these two fungi. Micrococcus 
developed freely and abundantly, forming large 
masses of yellow or brownish-yellow colour. Bacillus 
did not develop, but existed in greater or less abun- 
dance in all the cases examined. Mr. Butlin thinks 
that one cause of its artificial non-development may 
be the presence of other developing organisms, and 
that development takes place freely upon the tongue. 
Its habitual occurrence there, and the presence ot 
spore-bearing filaments favour this view. Besides 
the above, other fungi were present, as Bacterium 
termo, Sarcina venlriculi, Spirochceta plicatilis, 
Spirillum, etc. 

On Cleaning old Slides mounted in Balsam. 
— Having seen a great deal lately about cleaning old 
slides in your columns, it has occurred to me that 
the method I use might be serviceable to some. The 
process is as follows : I first heat the slide over a 
spirit-lamp until the balsam is soft, then I scrape the 
covering glass off, and as much balsam as possible. 
I let it dry and chip off all I can with an old knife ; 
and when I have taken it off, I soak a rag in tur- 
pentine and rub the slide well with it (renewing the 
turpentine when necessary) until all .the balsam i's 
removed, which it is in a very short time. — H. C. 


Nocturnal Song of Birds. — There have 
appeared from time to time in Science-Gossip 
inquiries concerning birds singing by night. On the 
third of last month (May) a thrush was heard singing 
long and loud after 10 P.M. a little way out of this 
town, on the Tring Road. — J. W. Slater, Aylesbury. 

Aerating Aquaria. — Dr. Lenz, of Lubeck, has 
devised a method of aerating the water in an aquarium. 
A tube conducting the air to the bottom is expanded 
at the end and stuffed with fine sponge, which causes 
the air to rise through the water in very minute 

The "Science Index." — We have received the 
first part of a new publication bearing the above 
name. It is edited by Mr. A. Hildebrandt, and pub- 
lished in Manchester, and professes to^be a " monthly 
guide to the contents of the scientific periodicals." 
Such a work is much needed, and the "Science 
Index " promises to fulfil the duty well, in spite of 
some errors in the first part, which are evidently due 
to the haste with which it has been got out. 

Male Eels. — In the " American Naturalist " for 
May, Professor Packard announces the discovery of 
male eels. At first they were supposed to be imma- 
ture females, but the question is now finally settled, 



for out of one hundred and ninety-three eels supplied 
by the United States Fish Commission three have 
been found to be males. Professor Packard found the 
nucleated spermatozoa in the cells. 

Boar-fish (Capros aper, Lacep.).— Numbers of 
these fish have been thrown up on the beach here 
during the present month (April) ; I have had thirteen 
specimens brought to me, all of which are very 
uniform in length, viz. 5 to 5^ inches. No transverse 
bands were visible in any of them, but the general 
rosy-pink colour was very vivid in most. I observe 
that some of your correspondents refer this fish to the 
genus Zeus (Linn.), but there are very marked dis- 
tinctions between the genera Zeus (Linn.) and Capros 
(Lacep.). : e.g. in the former the body is without scales, 
and the first dorsal carries a series of long filaments ; 
there is also a row of spinous scales at each side of 
the base of the dorsal and anal ; whilst in Capros, the 
body is clad with scales, and there are no filaments to 
the dorsal and no spines at its base. I wish one 
could discover some preservative fluid that would con- 
serve the colour in fish ; few would realise, in looking 
at the pale specimens in the jars the exquisite rosy 
tint of the living fish. For the benefit of fellow- 
readers of Science-Gossip who preserve fish, I may 
mention that after trial of many preservative fluids, 
the one I find handiest and most useful is Burnett's 
fluid (chloride of zinc) largely diluted : i. e. I part of 
fluid to 20 of water. This solution is slow in evapora- 
tion, and of course does not crystallize about the 
mouth of the jar or bottle. I believe it is the fluid 
used in the British Museum for preserving fish. — 
E. B. Kemp- Welch, Bournemouth. 

Mistakes of Instinct. — I desire most cordially 
to support the suggestion in your April number, to 
study the aberrations of instinct, as a means of arriving 
at a more intimate knowledge of the normal workings 
of that faculty. It is in fact the proper application of 
the philosophical axiom " Exceptio probat regulam" 
in its true sense. It is analogous to the study of 
monstrous forms in animal or vegetable structures 
(Teratology) in order to arrive at a knowledge of 
the mode in which the ordinary forms are produced. 
I would instance the Arum Dracunculus (the dragon 
flower) the flowers of which when fully expanded 
have a smell very much resembling that of putrid 
meat, and I have often noticed the multitude of flesh- 
flies that buzz and hover about the plant when in 
flower ; attracted, as is very obvious, by the odour of 
the blossom. I learn from a notice in your April 
number, that Cuvier has stated that flies are so far 
deceived by it, that they actually lay their eggs in 
the floral envelope.* I have never yet observed this 
myself, but I have a plant in my garden, which in a 
short time will be in flower. And I will carefully 

* See Taylor's " Flowers : their origin, shapes, perfumes, and 
colours," page 261. 

watch it, and if I find that any of the multitude of 
flies that visit it have laid their eggs in it, I will send 
the piece so operated upon to you, as a tangible proof 
of a decided mistake of instinct, in a matter of the 
utmost importance to the creature, and conclusively 
shewing that in this particular instance the animal is 
guided by the sense of smell alone, and does not 
correct its inferences by the application of sight or 
touch or any other sense to the object. 

Probably anglers could do good service in this 
direction, if they would carefully observe, and note, 
under what circumstances fishes are most readily 
deceived by, or reject the allurements of artificial 
flies. Is there any reason to believe that they are 
guided by any other sense than sight, in snapping at 
the sometimes not very close semblance of a dainty 
morsel ? Another instance that occurs to one is the 
common case of a hen being induced to sit upon a 
chalk egg ; where sight and touch appear to combine 
to delude the poor creature. The point requiring 
observation, I think is — do not all the observed aber- 
rations of instinct arise from mistaken sense ? Is there 
any observed instance shewing that the creature is 
able to correct a mistake of sense, by the application 
of any other faculty, and if so, what is that corrective 
faculty?— C. B. 


Function of Nectaries in Plants. — It is 
stated in the "Times" of April 8, that the theory 
of the functions of the nectary has recently been 
called in question by M. Bonnier, in support of 
which he gives various arguments. I was so much 
pleased with the (to me) convincing proofs adduced 
in "Flowers," by the Editor of SciENCE-Gossir, 
that I hope his opinions, which are in accordance with 
those of Darwin, Miiller, and others, will be confirmed 
by the discussions that will no doubt take place, 
refuting M. Bonnier's difficulties and objections, by 
botanists who have given attention to the subject ; 
and I trust that some of them may appear in SciENCE- 
GOSSIP.— T. B. W., Brighton. 

Corn Cockle (Lychnis or Agrostemma Githago). 
In January 1878, I received a few specimens of this 
plant from my friend Mr. J. Leighton, so much 
smaller than the ordinary form that I was not sure 
whether to consider them a new variety or merely 
starved specimens. So I sent one or two to Dr. J. 
T. Boswell for his opinion, and he kindly informed me 
that they were probably starved plants of L. Githago, 
and that if their seeds were sown in good soil they 
would doubtless produce the typical form. So I 
labelled my mounted specimens as a " starved form of 
L. Githago." But as Mr. Leighton in November last 
again forwarded me precisely similar examples from 
the same locality gathered last season, I wrote to 
him that the plant might perhaps be a new variety, 



and suggested the provisional name of parimla, to 
distinguish it in the meantime from the common form. 
Dried specimens differ in the following particulars : — 
L. Githago : stem branched 2 ' to 3 feet high ; calyx 
segments nearly twice the length of the petals ; flowers 
purple, whitish within the throat. L. Githago var. 
parvula : stem simple, 3 to 5 inches high, calyx 
segments equalling or shorter than the petals, flowers 
bright red. The difference in the colour of the 
flowery may have occurred in drying. The locality 
given for the plant is "near the Grand Stand, Epsom 
Downs, Surrey," and it might be worth while for 
some of our southern botanists to try and procure its 
seeds during the ensuing summer, see if it retains its 
characteristics when cultivated, and give the result of 
their experiments in the pages of Science-Gossip. 
— D. Douglass. 

Teratological Notes. — From observations made 
in my own garden, I am far from thinking synanthy 
commonly the accompaniment of decaying vital energy 
in the plants on which it occurs. Last spring I had 
a polyanthus which, after bearing a profusion of 
bloom, produced a flower with two pistils, each of 
them having a distinct style and stigma. This plant 
is now alive and vigorous in full bloom, many of its 
flowers being on long pedicels, growing singly like 
those of the primrose, others being in umbels on erect 
peduncles, as is usual in the polyanthus; and with 
nothing at present like that exceptional flower of last 
year. I have, however, now in bloom, several 
healthy, vigorous plants of polyanthus bearing synan- 
thic flowers of which all the organs are double the 
number found in nominal flowers : from the calyx 
with ten teeth to the two long styles with well- 
developed stigmas, of which I enclose a specimen. 
All these flowers are pin-eyed, and most of them such 
as a florist would destroy. Indeed, I think that if 
botanists would pick up what gardeners throw away, 
and cultivate worthless varieties of popular flowers, 
they might know much more of teratology than 
many of them do. — John Gibbs. 

A Shower of Pollen. — A remarkable shower of 
pollen grains fell in the north-eastern part of Pennsyl- 
vania on the morning of March 17, which covered an 
area of more than 2500 square miles. It is believed 
to be chiefly the pollen of Pinus Australis of the 
Southern States, and that it had been carried by the 
wind a distance of 500 miles. The country people 
took it for a " shower of sulphur." 

Yew-trees and Cattle. — With reference to this 
matter I beg to state that two stirks, the property of 
the Rev. D. Bonallo, Blackford, were found dead in 
the byre one day last week (end of April). It was dis- 
covered that they had devoured some cuttings of yew, 
which had been carelessly thrown out of the shrubbery 
into the meadow in which the cattle were grazing. — 
R. Donaldson, G!as?oiu. 


The Silurian District of Rhymney and Pen- 
y-lan, Cardiff. — This is the subject of a paper 
recently read before the Geological Society, by W. J. 
Sollas, F.G.S. 

The paper commences with a history of the previous 
observations on the district ; a description of the 
geographical distribution, geological structure, and 
vertical succession of the Silurian rocks is next given. 
They comprise beds belonging to the Wenlock and 
Ludlow groups, and pass conformably upwards into 
the Old Red Sandstone. The district affords a good 
base for a measurement of the thickness of the Old Red 
Sandstone on the south of the South-Wales coalfield. 
This was found to be a little over 4000 feet. The 
thinning out of the Old Red Sandstone and Silurian 
strata, together with the marked change which takes 
place correspondingly in the lithological characters 
of the latter formation on passing from the north to 
the south side of the coalfield, were taken to indicate 
an approach to a shore-line. The shore-line belonged 
to land which, as shown by the great thickness of the 
Devonian beds, could not have extended far south. 
It corresponded to Mr. Etheridge's barrier between 
the Old Red Sandstone and Devonian seas. The 
sandstones with Old- Red characters, such as the 
Hangman Grit and the Pickwell-Down Sandstones, 
occurring in the Devonian formation, were deposited 
at intervals when this barrier was submerged to a. 
greater depth than usual. The Cornstones were 
stated to thin out to the south along with the other 
sedimentary beds of the Old Red Sandstone, and 
were regarded as derived from the denudation of 
previously upheaved limestones, such as the Bala and 

An Indian Miocene Ape. — The skull of an 
anthropoid ape, an adult female, which must have 
been as large as a female gorilla or orang, has been 
found in the Siwalik rocks of the Punjab by Mr. 
Theobald, of the Indian Geological Survey. It is 
the first of its kind found in India which bears a 
resemblance to existing apes ; and this animal must 
have been as distinct as the gorilla and the chim- 
panzee, or any other two types of ape. It is proposed 
to call it Paliropithccus. 

Post-glacial Animals in London. — Fossil re- 
mains of various extinct animals have been recently 
found in London, in making the excavations for Messrs. 
Drummond's new bank at Charing Cross. They 
include elephant tusks and molars, probably the mam- 
moth Elephas primigenms, teeth and numerous bones 
of the gigantic extinct ox (Bos primigenius), a portion 
of what appears to be the horn of the great extinct Irish 
deer (Megaceros Hibemicns), along with various other 
remains of ruminating animals not yet identified. All 
the remains are those of herbivorous quadrupeds, but 



there is among them no bone or tooth of hippopotamus 
or rhinoceros, though these animals are known, from 
discoveries made at Brentford, Crayford, and other 
localities in the Thames Valley, to have been in post- 
glacial times the companions of the Thames Valley 

"Conodonts," etc. — At a recent meeting of the 
Natural History Society of Glasgow, Mr. John 
Young, F.G.S., exhibited a" series of conodont re- 
mains and sponge spicules from the Silurian and 
Devonian limestone strata of England, forwarded by 
Mr. John Smith, Kilwinning. Mr. Young stated 
that at a former meeting Mr. Smith had sent for 
exhibition an interesting series of conodonts and 
various forms of sponge spicules, which he had found 
in the limestone strata around Dairy, Ayrshire. Since 
that time he had visited several districts in England, 
and had been successful in discovering the remains 
of conodonts in some of the weathered shales and 
limestones of the localities he had visited, these not 
having been formerly noted as occurring either in 
the Silurian or Devonian formations of England. 
Very little is yet known of the nature of the organisms 
that have yielded these conodont remains, which 
consist of small teeth, joints, &c, of many different 
forms, one party referring them to the jaws of Anne- 
lids, another to that of Myxinoid fishes, to the 
lingual armature of certain forms of Molluscs or the 
maxillipeds of Crustacea. As new localities are 
turning up where these interesting though obscure 
forms are being found, it is to be hoped that more 
light will soon be thrown upon the true nature of the 
organisms to which they formerly belonged. 

History of Mineral Veins. — Mr. John Arthur 
Phillips, F.G.S., in a paper on this important subject, 
read before the Geological Society, described the 
phenomena of the deposition of minerals from the 
water and steam of hot springs, as illustrated in the 
Californian region, referring especially to a great 
"sulphur bank" in Lake county, to the steamboat 
springs in the State of Nevada, and to the great 
Comstock lode. He noticed the formation of de- 
posits of silica, both amorphous and crystalline, en- 
closing other minerals, especially cinnabar and gold, 
and in some cases forming true mineral veins. The 
crystalline silica tormed contains liquid-cavities, and 
exhibits the usual characteristics of ordinary quartz. 
In the great Comstock lode, which is worked for 
gold and silver, the mines have now reached a con- 
siderable depth, some as much as 2660 feet. The 
water in these mines was always at a high tempera- 
ture, but now in the deepest mines it issues at a 
temperature of 157 Fahr. It is estimated that at 
least 4,200,000 tons of water are now annually 
pumped from the workings ; and the author dis- 
cussed the probable source of this heat, which he 
was inclined to regard as a last trace of volcanic 

Ancient Prawns. — Mr. Robert Etheridge, jun., 
F.G.S., has announced the discovery in the Lower 
Carboniferous bed of the south of Scotland, of a 
long-tailed decayed crustacean, or prawn, which he 
has very properly named after Dr. Henry Woodward, 
AnthrapalcEmon Woodwardi. Another species of 
AnthrapaLcmon was named Alacconochii, after its 


Intelligence in Man and Animals. — " Idea" 
hopes to see a more intelligible distinction shown 
between instinct and reason, though by the context he 
evidently appreciates that there is a difference, and 
compares instinct in animals with impulse in man. By 
instinct I understand that intelligence with which 
animals are endowed, which causes them to act in a uni- 
form manner without experience. Thus, for example, 
the beaver, the ant, "and the bee, build their homes on a 
regular, and, so to speak, systematic plan, without, as 
far as can be learned, being taught by their progenitors. 
They have also an innate dread of their enemies, 
which appears to exist independently of experience. 
The origin of reason, as has been pointed out by 
Mr. P. Q. Keegan, is the subject of dispute by different 
schools of metaphysicians, which will apparently 
always be the case. We all, however, possess the 
faculty in some degree, and its practical workings are 
therefore pretty well understood. Even if it be 
granted that animals reason to a limited extent, the 
question arises, Is there no difference between man's 
reasoning power and that of the lower animals ? The 
arguments of those who maintain that the intelligence 
of animals differs from that of man only in degree, are 
summed up in an assertion Darwin makes in " The 
Descent of Man : ' ' " Since animals possess the same 
senses, it follows they must possess the same funda- 
mental intuitions as man." That man derives all his 
ideas from the senses has been disputed by so many 
writers of great capacity, that it would argue some 
presumption to consider it an axiom. As the concise 
proposition cannot be proved, it may, however, be 
true, and, if so, it follows, if Mr. Darwin's argument 
is sound, that all animals, without exception, which 
possess the same senses as man, are possessed of the 
fundamental intuitions. Why, then, does he draw a 
distinction between instinct and reason ? and between 
conscious and unconscious intelligence ? for proof of 
which see my letter of March, with quotation ; and 
why, moreover, does he draw a distinction between 
the primates and the lower animals ? The accounts of 
the actions of ants, as described in the " Origin of 
Species," and more recently by Sir John Lubbock, 
are more extraordinary than those of an ape. The 
brain of the ant is said to be large in proportion to its 
body, but it is infinitesimally small when compared 
with that of the ape. With regard to the anecdotes 
of animals in Mr. Darwin's work, and those which 
have lately been discussed in " Nature," we arrive 
with certainty at one conclusion, viz., that more than 
one explanation may be given of them. Those who 
argue that the intelligences of man and animals differ 
only in degree, have to prove, not only that animals 
agree in some parts of their mental powers with man, 
but in all ; and here the distinction drawn by Mr. 
Henslow in "Nature," February 27, has to be ex- 
plained between man's abstract reasoning powers 
and the reasoning of animals from objects present to 
the senses, which, it appears to me, has not been 
controverted. Here is one difficulty. Then with 



regard to the imagination. Mr. Darwin derives the 
faculty from dreams, and observe that animals dream. 
Dreams are explainable by the theory generally 
accepted, that when we are asleep our intellect is 
partly awake, and when we are awake it is partially 
dormant. Doubtless the savage may occasionally 
mistake dreams for realities, though one would 
suppose their constant occurrence would familiarise 
him with the phenomenon. Surely this is a very 
slight basis on which to establish the origin of the 
faculty so marvellous as the imagination. That animals 
possess memory, attention, and sympathy, cannot be 
disputed. Will Mr. Rogers or Mr. Wheatley explain 
why they think " memory an act of reason ?" How 
do they reconcile the assertion with the fact that 
idiots often possess marvellous memories ? J. E. Taylor 
remarks on the mistakes made by animals, which he 
thinks may throw much light on animal psychology, 
and his letter suggests to me that the favourite method 
of illustration with the Darwinians is to compare the 
lowest savage that can be found with the most intelli- 
gent quadruped, and then remark that there is little 
or no difference between them, overlooking the fact 
that one is capable of development to an immense 
extent, and the other but to a limited degree. With 
regard to these cases of mistakes by animals, many 
swimmers must be aware that, when in the water, it 
is often difficult for them to keep their dogs off, they 
appear to wish to rescue their masters, and they do 
not always know their own masters when naked. I 
have known instances of naked persons being in danger 
from a dog and a cat, and I am informed that the 
maternal yearning of a cow that has lost its calf may 
be entirely satisfied by a skin stuffed with straw. 
There are also m-any instincts to which we have no 
clue whatever. All these must be explained before 
it can be conceded that the minds of animals and 
man differ only in degree. Turning for a moment 
from the mental to the physical question, which 
inevitably suggests itself, we find that Mr. Darwin 
compares the fcetus of a man, a monkey, and a dog, 
and remarks that at an early stage of development 
they are apparently the same, and argues from this 
resemblance that they must have had a common 
progenitor. Despite this seeming resemblance, how- 
ever, there is the indisputable fact that they develope 
into a man, a monkey, and a dog. Surely, if this 
proves anything, it proves the danger of reasoning by 
analogy, and Mr. Darwin's arguments are of this 
nature. The appearances explained by the law of 
reason may be as fallacious. I am not in the least 
prejudiced against the Darwinian hypothesis ; what- 
ever the conditions of our existence we must perforce 
submit to them ; the question for me is, Can it be 
confirmed by facts ? but no thinker can disregard the 
instinctive disgust with which it is regarded by many 
persons of all degrees of cultivation. 

What do the evolutionists, who argue that some 
supernatural change may have taken place in the 
reason of man, mean by the word supernatural ? If 
they mean some law not as yet discovered, why do 
they not suspend their judgment ? If they mean a 
direct interference of the Deity, it is a purely specula- 
tive idea, without proof of any kind. We are not 
bound to explain the origin of species, or of man, but 
we are bound to examine any explanation that may be 
offered under penalty of being led on a delusive 
voyage of discovery. Much first-rate talent is being 
spent on deductions from the Darwinian hypothesis. 
What if the premisses are false ? The finite cannot 
comprehend the infinite ; so far I agree with your 
correspondent, C. L. W., but when he deduces from 
this fact that " man may consequently be in error 
when he assumes that he alone is the possessor of 

reasoning powers," he suggests on this basis an asser- 
tion that may or may not be true. In my letter, in 
the April number, the words " the same kind of 
intelligence " are a misprint for " some kind of intel- 
ligence," the reverse of my meaning. — H. D. Barclay. 

Intelligence in Man and Animals. — Mr. 
Wheatley quotes (from "Nature") a "remarkable 
instance of rats gnawing leaden pipes in order to 
obtain water, and which Dr. Darwin explained by 
saying that the rats heard the water trickling, and 
reasoned about it, and cut through the pipe to obtain 
it. I think this explanation probable." I believe it 
to be in the highest degree improbable. In this city 
the pipes are always full, and consequently no sounds 
of "trickling" could be heard ; yet I know of more 
than one instance of pipes being gnawed by rats and 
mice, even the pipes conveying gas are sometimes 
bitten through, of which an instance came under my 
notice a few days ago. I think a much simpler ex- 
planation can be given than that the rats detected 
the presence of water and reasoned upon it, viz., that 
the pipes happened to be in their way. — F. Killon. 

Intelligence in Animals.—" It is quite clear " 
(says Dr. Whately) "that if such acts were done by 
man they would be regarded as an exercise of reason, 
and I do not know why, when performed by brutes, 
evidently by a similar process so far as can be judged, 
they should not bear the same name. To talk of a 
cat having instinct to pull a bell when desirous of 
going out at the door .... would be to use words 
at random." And I think many would agree with 
the learned archbishop if they would carefully read the 
testimony and researches of such eminent naturalists 
and thinkers as Lockslie, Bacon, Burns, poet ; Pro- 
fessors Darwin, Huber, Brehm, Rengger and Kirby ; 
Cuvier, the naturalist ; J. K. Lord, Lubbock, and the 
lately recognised genius, Edward, of Banff, &c. As 
an example, of which so many can be adduced, let 
us take the incident related by Mr. Edward. He 
saw two birds vainly trying to turn over a large fish 
on the sands, to get the vermin beneath. After many 
futile attempts, extending over half an hour or more, 
and after attracting a third bird who helped them to no 
purpose, they stood together, and apparently by their 
noise were engaged in some mysterious process of 
conversation and reasoning. They again set to work 
and dug a large hole in the sands from one side of the 
fish, even to undermining a certain distance, and then 
with evident expressions of triumph, rolled it over 
with ease and commenced the feast they had worked 
for. That fish measured 3J feet, being a fine cod, 
and those birds undoubtedly used their reason to 
elaborate a scheme to accomplish their object. With- 
out running off into Darwinian theories, I would 
remind Dr. Keegan, as he lays so much stress on the 
capacity of the brain, that one of our great physiolo- 
gists tells us " that every chief fissure and fold of the 
brain of man has its analogy in that of the ourang," 
whilst Huxley adds " whilst in those things in which 
the brains of men and apes do differ, there is also a 
great difference amongst various men." It is true 
structure is not all— the machinery may be perfect in 
every detail, yet if it lack the motive power of what 
avail is it ? Still is it not reasonable to suppose 
that structure being so similar, God intended the 
ape to use her brain like man's but in a less 
degree ? The chief obstacle to belief in reason in 
animals lies in the fear of what the admission may 
lead to, but surely we need not grudge these poor 
brutes the possession of a feeble development of 
reason, when man, and man alone, can thank his 
Creator for giving him a hope of a future which no 
animal is destined to enjoy. 



Birds and the Hard Weather. — The various 
notes which have appeared on this subject have been 
read with much interest by us, especially Air. 
Bingham's paper, Science-Gossip, page 70. We 
also, during the long severe winter, just experienced, 
have diligently fed twice a day our poor feathered 
friends ; very delightful and pleasant it has been to 
watch the instinctive knowledge, almost amounting to 
reason, which appeared to bring them at the exact 
time their food was regularly put out for them. At 
the first appearance of the frost and snow, about the 
end of November, we had not only large numbers of 
sparrows, robins, and tom-tits, but also a good gather- 
ing of blackbirds, male chaffinches, and thrushes ; 
eagerly they assembled on the trees to watch for the 
first crumbs thrown out, their bright, intelligent eyes 
quickly detecting the breakfast or dinner on the table. 
Soon, however, the cold of our northern climate was 
too severe for the thrushes, and about the middle of 
December they quite left us, but not before two of 
their number came to an untimely end : one was 
caught by the cat, its poor wings being too much 
frozen to fly away from pussy's reach, the second 
came into the house, as if to ask for help, but before 
it could be given it fell down dead. Both were evi- 
dently not only frozen, but starved to death. As 
the cold weather continued, we had, about Christinas, 
the magpies and rooks, in addition to our other birds. 
The rooks gradually increased in numbers each day, 
until on one occasion thirty-one were counted on the 
trees. Their favourite food appeared to be meat ; we 
threw out some fowls' bones one morning, which 
seemed to be a great treat to them, for they carried 
away both the flesh and the bones. In the early part 
of December we had the starlings, but they soon left 
us, and have only recently (March 2) returned to us. 
Also on that day four thrushes again appeared, and 
regaled us with their sweet, thrilling song. It may 
not be without interest here to remark that we believe 
the thrushes do not leave England, but the late 
severe winter has driven them south. A lady friend 
living in Buckingham, who has been feeding the 
birds this winter, told us in a letter that she had 
twelve thrushes each morning. The blackbirds have 
remained pretty much with us, though they have 
been, with other small birds, greatly thinned by our 
neighbours, during the frost and snow, amusing them- 
selves by shooting our valued feathered friends. And 
most cruel it appears, so to take advantage of their 
half-starved state, especially as they have come to us 
in confiding trust to have their unspoken wants re- 
lieved ! The fieldfares have been numerous, and the 
heron has been seen flying over this neighbourhood, 
rather an unusual circumstance. We also were 
visited by a rat, which not only partook of the food 
thrown out for the birds, but burrowed close to the 
window. We were not quite so kind to him as was 
Mr. Bingham to his rat, for we set a trap, which, 
though it was not strong enough to secure him, had 
the effect of driving the poor fellow to seek a home 
elsewhere. — Elizabeth Edwards, Stoke, Stafford. 

Cuckoo's Visits.— It may be interesting to know 
that during the last summer and for the preceding 
four or five years, I have noticed a cuckoo frequenting 
this locality (a suburb of London). I have seen it 
repeatedly upon the trees overhanging and adjoining 
my small garden, and upon one occasion it remained 
perched upon a rail in front of my fowl-house for 
more than half an hour. I cannot say positively that 
it was the same bird, but it was (or they were) always 
small, and as cuckoos vary considerably in size (I 
have shot many) I have no doubt that such was 
the case. — y. I., Brixton. 

The Cuckoo's Eggs.— Having had a good deal 
of experience with regard to cuckoos and their eggs, 
perhaps the following remarks, the result of my own 
observations, may not be without interest to " Junior " 
and others of your correspondents. My experience 
agrees with that of the writer in the April number, 
p. 95, for out of all the numbers I have discovered I 
never took one from a nest built on the ground. With 
one exception, to be mentioned presently, I found 
them all in the nests of the hedge-sparrow and wag- 
tail. Those from the latter were generally similar to 
the eggs in the nest (but larger of course), and had 
streaks, and not spots. The exception to which I 
have referred just above was one taken from a common 
wren's nest, which was built in furze placed in hurdles 
in order to make jumps for horses. This egg was 
smaller than any other cuckoo's which I have seen. 
There were six wren's eggs in the nests with it. I 
have never found more than one egg in the same nest. 
— F. Anderson, Chichester. 

Black Bullfinches. — Hemp seed will, I know 
from experience, darken the plumage of most birds, 
and bullfinches are especially liable to change colour 
if much of this seed is given to them, although they 
are particularly fond of it. I had a bullfinch that 
turned black in the same way as "St. Austell" de- 
scribes his to have done, but my bird did not lose his 
vocal powers, and was in perfect health. I saw a 
black bullfinch not long since in a cottage window, 
and went in to ask the mistress, who keeps a village 
shop, if she gave the bird hemp seed, but she said it 
had grown up black. She had taken it, I discovered, 
from the nest, and its plumage had from the first 
been black. — Mrs. Alfred Watney. 

Tree Sparrow. — In looking over some odd 
numbers of an old periodical, I saw a short account 
of this bird. Amongst other particulars, it stated 
that it had only been found breeding in seven English 
counties ; and as I have frequently found it nesting 
here (North Yorkshire), I thought the following 
notes concerning it might not prove uninteresting to 
the ornithological readers of Science-Gossip. It 
most usually constructs its nest in the hollow parts 
of trees, especially where a hole has been formed by 
the breaking away of a branch. But this is not in- 
variably the case, for in the year 1876 I found a 
perfect colony of them nesting in the roof of an 
implement shed attached to a farm. There had been 
a heap of thorns laid upon a few cross beams, and 
upon these the usual thatch of straw had been laid. 
It was in the thorns that the nests were found. There 
were over a dozen of them, besides several of those 
of the house sparrow ; and all of them contained 
either eggs or young. On revisiting the place again 
last year, I only found one or two nests, all the 
"good holes" being apparently occupied by the 
house sparrow, to the exclusion of its smaller relative. 
— y. A. JVheldon, North Allerton. 

Curious Sites for Birds' Nests. — Your corres- 
pondent on the above subject does not mention the 
prolific site that an old magpie's nest affords, and the 
number of birds that make use of it after the original 
builders have done with it ; from my own experience 
as a "birds'-nester," I have taken the eggs of kestrel, 
sparrow, hawk, brown owl, blackbird, thrush, starling, 
stock-dove, pied wagtail, redstark, nuthatch, creeper, 
great tit, blue tit, and once, built in the cross sticks 
of the dome, the nest of the long-tailed tit ; when 
magpies were more plentiful than they are here now, 
their old nests were an almost certain find for stock 
doves, and many a pair of eggs and young have I 
taken from them. — G. T. 



Plates of Birds' Eggs. —Could any reader of 
Science-Gossip inform me whether there are any 
tolerably cheap, but good coloured plates of British 
birds and eggs, or eggs separately, and if so where 
obtainable ? — T. J. IV. Oakley, Stoney Cross, Boitrnc- 

A Strange Place for Marsh Plants. — Had 
not Mr. A. Craig-Christie's remarks (p. 16) appeared 
to require some comment, I would not have reverted 
to this subject. But as he says all the plants in the 
list " are to be found all along the coast from Bowness 
to North Berwick (in damp and marshy places)," and 
as this includes Leith and its neighbourhood, any one 
who has not an opportunity of examining the place, 
will naturally infer that they have sprung up from the 
seeds of plants in the immediate vicinity, and that, 
far from being unusual, their speedy appearance is 
only a natural sequence of the exclusion of the salt 
water. But this is not the case. The Leith and Porto- 
bello branch of the North British Railway runs close 
to the shore for about a mile east of the town, and is 
bounded on the north by a sloping sea-wall, that was 
formerly washed by every tide, and on the south by 
the turnpike road between Leith and Portobello ; this 
again being bounded by dwelling-houses, gardens, 
and fields. So it will be seen that hardly any vegeta- 
tion, other than marine, could or did grow there. 
Again, Mr. Christie says : — " Most of them used to 
grow at the Figgat Whins, between Leith and Porto- 
bello." It may be so ; but both they and the Figgat 
Whins have long disappeared, and of fifteen species 
observed, only three, namely, Ranunculus sceleratus, 
Veronica beccabunga, and Catabrosa aqualica are 
now found between the two towns, a distance of 
three miles ; so far as I can see, after a careful 
examination of the coast ; while between Leith and 
Granton, about an equal distance in the opposite 
direction, none of them are found at all. As my 
previous note was forwarded in July, a few additional 
species were subsequently observed before their growth 
was finally stopped by autumnal frost. And several 
littoral species, not recently found near Leith, also 
made their appearance. Among these I may men- 
tion Aster tripolium, Salicornia herbacea, Triglochin 
maritimum, Juncus Gcrardi, and Scirpus maritimus. 
All these were probably at one time common here, 
till their gradual extinction from alterations made on 
the coast, through the exigencies of trade and com- 
merce. In conclusion, I have recently received infor- 
mation that appears to afford a satisfactory explanation 
of the matter. A native of Leith tells me that the 
overflow water from Lochend Loch at one time 
entered the Firth at the place where the plants now 
grow, but that several years ago it was drained away 
in another direction, and now runs into the Firth 
much farther eastward. — D. Douglas. 

Interesting Plants in the Royal Gardens, 
Kew. — On the west-side of the Economic house is 
Sckinus Molle, the Peruvian Mastic, introduced into 
this country about 1597, and included in the natural 
order Terebinthacere, tribe Anacardiese, of Hooker's 
" Genera Plantarum." It is a small dioecious shrub 
with unequally pinnate leaves, and white flowers in 
panicles. The cells in the leaves contain a great 
quantity of volatile oil or resinous matter, which is 
violently expelled if the leaves be placed in water, the 
recoil causing a motion that appears to be spontane- 
ous. In Italy, where this plant succeeds well in the 
open air, a shower of rain renders the air fragrant 
with the discharged oil. The young leaves of several 
species of Rhus exhibit the same phenomena when 
immersed in water. The Peruvians employ the roots 

as an astringent medicine, and in Chili a kind of wine 
is prepared from the fruits. Schinus is the Greek term 
for Pistacia Lentiscus, and was applied to the present 
plant from the similarity in their medicinal properties. 
The specific name Molle is not the neuter form of 
mollis, as might be supposed, but an adaptation of the 
native term Mulli. On the same side is the notable 
manchineel {Hippomane Mancinella) found on the sandy 
shores of tropical South America and some islands in 
the West Indies — a Euphorbiaceous tree, with ovate- 
elliptical shining leaves, and inconspicuous unisexual 
flowers. The milk-white juice of this plant has a 
volatile poisonous principle ; which, however, is not 
sufficiently virulent to render credible the innumerable 
marvels related concerning its effects. The man- 
chineel is said to rival the upas-tree of Java in the 
number of wonderful tales with which it is connected. 
We have reliable evidence of one property in the 
works of Dr. Leeman, who states that he and some 
sailors were affected by temporary blindness through 
getting some of the juice in their eyes, when on shore 
at Veraguas. The statement that persons have died 
through sleeping under the tree, was doubted by 
Jacquin, who judged from his own experience ; but 
Ad. de Jussieu thought, very reasonably, that its effects 
might vary on differently constituted persons. The 
fruit is fleshy, and closely resembles an apple in shape 
and colour, but as it contains the same noxious 
principle as other parts of the plant, we can readily 
imagine what an extremely disagreeable surprise 
would greet the unfortunate individual who might 
attempt to eat it. The name Hippomane, from hippos 
and mania, was given by the Greeks to a plant that 
grew in Arcadia, which had the reputation of render- 
ing horses furious. At the other side of the house 
we have Physostig/na venenosum, the "ordeal bean" 
of Old Calabar ; a leguminous plant included in the 
Phaseolese. It has a climbing stem with alternate, 
pinnately trifoliate, stipulate leaves ; the leaflets 
acuminate, and base of the common petiole swollen ; 
the purplish flowers are borne on pendulous axillary 
racemes. The style is very long, bearded, and taper- 
ing, to near the apex, where it is broadly dilated into a 
triangular hood above the stigma ; from this peculi- 
arity the generic name and character are derived. 
Although valuable nutritive qualities characterise 
leguminous plants generally, yet a deleterious principle 
occurs in several species, and in none is it more 
strongly marked than in Physostigma, which is certainly 
the most poisonous of this vast order. The active 
properties are concentrated in the seeds, and are 
found to be owing to the presence of the alkaloids 
eserine and physostigmine. The seeds are used by 
the natives of west tropical Africa as an ordeal, 
similarly to the Tanghin described in the last paper. 
The extract and alkaloids have a peculiar effect upon 
the eye, causing contraction of the pupil ; hence, of 
late years they have become valuable ophthalmic 
medicines. — Leivis Castle, West Kensington Park. 

' "Stock-Frost," &c. — What are the phenomena 
which go, in the Norfolk district at least, by the 
name of "stock-frost," "stock-ice?" I have heard men 
whose veracity is unimpeachable, and not unintelli- 
gent men either, assert that in certain frosts the 
bottoms of streams and "broads " will freeze, and at the 
giving of the frost, a substance something like ice- 
cream in appearance will come to the surface, this 
substance having imbedded in it the weeds that grew 
near the bottom of the water, and often the stones 
and brickbats that might be resting on the mud. I 
don't understand the phenomena, but if those who 
know would kindly insert an answer to my query, 
they would much oblige— Ignoramus. 



" Honey-Stalks."— It is generally supposed that 
the writer of "Titus Andronicus " referred to clover 
flowers in the lines quoted by C. Foran. The long 
tubes of the corolla in the flowers of Trifolium pratense 
abound in honey. It is, I believe, an error to suppose 
that the clover flower produces rot in sheep, though 
the author of " Titus Andronicus " leads us to suppose 
so, as the lines concerning the "honey-stalks" seem 
to show : 

"With words more sweet, and yet more dangerous, 
Than baits to fish, or honey-stalks to sheep ; 
When as the one is wounded with the bait, 
The other rotted with delicious feed." 

I may here remark that the play " Titus Andronicus " 
is very generally believed not to have been written by 
Shakespeare at all. I think I am right in asserting 
that in modern editions of Shakespeare this play 
is omitted as spurious. — Charles F. IV. T. Williams, 

" Honey-Stalks."— (No. 173, p. 118) : the flowers 
of white clover {Trifolium repens, L.). It is an in- 
teresting fact that this is still the local name of the 
plant in Shakespeare's native country. — Robert 

" Honey-Stalks." — Nares in his Glossary quoting 
the passage from Shakespeare's " Titus Andronicus " 
referred to by your correspondent, C. Foran, says 
" honey-stalks " are clover flowers, which contain a 
sweet juice, and that it is common for cattle to over- 
charge themselves with clover and die. I may add 
that country children often suck the flowers for their 
sweet juice, which they call honey. — W. Thompson, 

"Honey-Stalks." — I find under this head in 
Nares' " Glossary of Shakespeare," " Clover flowers, 
which contain a sweet juice ; it is common for cattle 
to overcharge themselves with clover and die." I 
hope that this explanation will satisfy your corres- 
pondent. — F. A. Bather. 

Cossus AT Sugar. — In answer to the query in 
May number of Science-Gossip, I may say that in 
July 1876 I saw a specimen of the above insect on 
sugar at Willans, near Lea Bridge, Hackney, but it 
flew off the tree immediately the light came upon it. 
The same incident occurred last year, but I was un- 
successful in bottling the insect, which was a very 
shabby specimen. However, the next night he paid 
us another visit, and we captured him, but owing to 
bad condition gave him his freedom. I also met a 
collector who had a freshly-emerged specimen which 
he assured me he took at sugar, at the same locality. 
— Arthur J. Rose. 

Cossus at Sugar. — Your correspondent, W. H. 
Newberry, inquires for instances of Cossus ligni- 
perda coming to sugar. A few summers ago I took 
. a specimen near Semley, "Wilts, in an oak-tree which 
I had painted with a mixture of treacle and beer, it 
crawled up from the ground to the first drop down 
the base of trunk ; this, however, is the only occasion 
I have noticed the species attracted by sweet fluid. — 
H. P. Stock. 

Abnormal character of the Season.— It may 
be worth putting on record that this year the palm- 
tree, and the blackthorn, only began to blossom in this 
neighbourhood on May 2. According to the Rev. L. 
Jenyns, the flowering of the former tree ranges from 
March 17 to April 19, as that of the blackthorn from 
March 15 to April 20. The return of birds of passage 
has been little affected. Swallows were first seen 
here on April 20, and the cuckoo was first heard on 
April 25, dates by no means exceptionally late. This 

fact disproves the old notion that migratory birds 
have a mysterious foreknowledge of the state of the 
weather in the country to which they are going, and 
time their movements accordingly. — J. IV. Slater, 

Sleep of Ants. — I should be obliged if any of 
your correspondents could give me the following in- 
formation. Mr. Emerson in chapter iv. (entitled "Lan- 
guage ") of his essay on " Nature " says : " The in- 
stincts of the ant are very unimportant, considered as 
the ant's, but a moment a ray of relation is seen to 
extend from it to man, and the little drudge is seen 
to be a monitor, a 'little body with a mighty heart,' 
then all its habits, even that said to be recently ob- 
served that it never sleeps, become sublime." What • 
I wish to know is whether there is any evidence to 
prove that the ant never sleeps ? I should be much 
obliged if any correspondent can give me this informa- 
tion. — S. T. 

The Thermal Sources of Carlsbad. — I am 
very glad to see in the Science-Gossip recently, 
that a local cause for hot water has been discovered 
at Carlsbad. Will you allow me to offer you a quo- 
tation from my " Interior of the Earth," 1870, " Hot 
Springs" p. 51 ? "It is sufficiently proved by the 
analysis of the waters, that the materials carried with 
them are conducive to heat. As then these trickling 
subterraneous waters work downwards, they come to 
the materials which had long ago been subjected to 
the natural heating causes ; these materials gathered 
over, and upon the faces of the harder strata, offer 
themselves to the perpetual erosion of every trickle, 
so that the alluvial valley is kept perpetually supplied 
with the bases of the metallic alkalies, with water to 
create the heat, and with the acids to modify that 
heat." The cause of heat in all hot springs is local 
It has suited science to assign the cause to a hot 
interior, founded on the nebular hypothesis of Laplace, 
but this is not proved, while the local cause for hot 
springs is proved. — //. P. Malet, Florence. 


To Correspondents and Exchangers. — As we now 
publish Science-Gossip a week earlier than heretofore, we 
cannot possibly insert in the following number any communi- 
cations which reach us later than the gth of the previous 

To Anonymous Querists. — We receive so many queries 
which do not bear the writers' names that we are forced to 
adhere to our rule of not noticing them. 

E. J. Ockenden. — See chapter in " Collecting and Preserving 
Natural History Specimens" (London: Hardwicke & Bogue, 
price 2 s - 6d.) It is written by Professor Ralph Tate, and gives 
you full instructions for removing mollusca from their shells. 
Gwyn Jeffrey's " British Conchology," published by Van 
Voorst, is the best work we have on this subject. 

A. Seinad (Colchester).— Get Taylor's "Aquarium : its 
history, principles, and management," price 6s. London: 
Hardwicke & Bogue ; where you will find full instructions as to 
the details you enquire about. 

L. Hawkins. — We have forwarded your specimens to be 
named, but you could easily identify and name them for yourself, 
by getting Cooke's " Microscopic Fungi," price 6s., from Hard- 
wicke & Bogue, 192 Piccadilly, W. 

J. R. Corder. — The common cray-fish (Astacus fluviatilis) 
can be kept in aquaria. Its food consists of aquatic mollusca, 
insect larvae, &c, and the cray-fish would even be useful in a 
large aquarium, in consuming and removing dead garbage. 
See an account of a domesticated cray-fish in Bell's " British 
Stalk-eyed Crustacea." The smooth newt (Lissotritcn punc- 
tatus) is soonest adapted to an aquarium. Mr. King, Sea Horse 
House, Portland Road, London, could supply you with material 
and objects for aquaria. 

E. Viles.— The "slimy substance" on the gravel paths was 
no doubt the Nostoc commune. 



M. W. T. (Cardiff).— Get "Notes on Collecting and Pre- 
serving Natural History Specimens," price 3-r. 6d. published by 
Hardwicke & Bogue, 192 Piccadilly, London, and study chapter 
on "Botanical Specimens," by James Britten, F.L.S. 

G. C. D. — You do not say what kind of objects you wish to 
mount. Canada balsam can be used in India, but requires 
hardening by heat before putting on the cover glass. 

Edward Ward. — Your fresh-water algas are — 1. Zygnema 
rizmlare, Hassall : 2. Zygnema [? sp.) ; 3. Z. nitidum ; 4. Vesi- 
ciilifera Candollii, Hassall. 

J. B. — Your mounted specimens are, — x, Lyngbia (? sp.}; 2. 
Rivttlaria gra?iulifera ; 3. Rivularia. 

F. S. St. A. — If our correspondent will send us isolated 
specimens of the algae she wishes to have named, we will en- 
deavour to get it done, but we cannot ask those gentlemen to 
whom we are indebted for the identification of specimens, to 
search over a quantity of crude material, in order to find some 
particular form, and to which no clue has been given. 

J. Severs. — Our "Exchange column" is open gratuitously 
to subscribers of Science-Gossip for their mutual advantage, 
but we limit the length of the exchanges to about three lines of 

J. S. Dickin. — Pritchard's " History of Infusoria " is an old 
and antiquated book, but the only one in our language before 
the public. It is rare, and can only be obtained through a 
secondhand bookseller. Mr. Saville Kent is, we believe, pre- 
paring a revised manual of " British Infusoria," a work long 
wanted. Slack's " Pond Life," and Gosse's " Evening's at the 
Microscope," are both good books for a young amateur. 

W. Roberts. — Your specimens of weevil are Otiorhynclais 
picipes. O. sulcatiis is a distinct species, easily distinguished 
from the former. Both are destructive foes to gardeners, al- 
though the larvae of the latter have a peculiar predilection for 
potted plants. 

Botanical Exchange Club. — Rules of membership, &c, 
may be obtained by application to 192 Piccadilly, W. It is time 
that intending workers should send in their names, addresses, 
and subscriptions, with a view to work this summer. 

William Bennett (Clehonger). — Your bat is a remarkable 
earless specimen of the common Rittzr-mouse ( Vesperlilio pipz's- 


A specimen of the rare shining moss [Schisiostega pennata), 
containing many diatoms, sent for really well-mounted slide. — 
T. Watson, Bank Parade, Burnley. 

Stephen's " British Insects," with coloured illustrations. I 
have the first four volumes of part i. (i.e. Mandibulata) and the 
first three volumes of part ii. (i.e. Haustellata) of the above work. 
Want remainder. Apply to George T. Baker, Hagley Road, 

Microscope (Baker) in case with condenser, polariscope, &c. 
complete. For .£15 or smaller instrument and cash. Also 
" Beale on the Microscope."— Rev. C. L. Williams, Aston, 

Authenticated British, European, Asiatic, Indian, American, 
African, Labrador species bird's eggs. Lists forwarded. Ex- 
change offers requested. Foreign correspondence specially 
wished for.— John William, n Priory Road, Sheffield. 

Fine slides of the rare SpJiaroploa annulina, showing fructifi- 
cation, in exchange for other authentically named freshwater 
algae, or first class material, diatomaceous preferred. — J. Tem- 
pore, 249 Moss Lane East, Manchester. 

Wanted, fossils, in exchange for sponges and fossils from the 
white and red chalk of Yorkshire ; also recent shells, in exchange 
for British land,- fresh-water, and marine species. Send lists to 
Rev. George Bailey, Seaham Harbour. 

For unmounted palates of L. litorea, and B. undatum ; send 
unmounted objects to J. M., 12 Porchester Street, near Clifford 
Street, Birmingham. 

Well-mounted slides of Aulacodiscus littoris, Aulac. mar- 
garitaceus, Heliopelta mollis, Trinacria regina, several species 
of Hemiantus and Isthmia, and a large number of diatomaceous 
deposits from all countries for slides or gatherings of rare diato- 
maceae.— Otto A. Witt, 2 Gunnersbury Terrace, Turnham 
Green, London. 

Good slides offered in return for insects, living or freshly 
killed, in spirit. More especially the less common Diptera, 
gadflies, sawflies, mole crickets, and other orthoptera and 
neuroptera.— G. N. W., 10 Edinburgh Place, Weston-super- 

Well-mounted slides of anchor, and plates of Synapta gal- 
licrcna, in exchange for good unmounted material. — W. E. C, 
Mr. Greasley, White Cottage, Gregory Street, Old Lenton, 

Numbers of "Astronomical Register," "Microscopical 
Journal," "Nature," and others, to exchange for British bird's 
eggs.— George W. Coultas, High Street, Bridlington, Yorkshire. 

Am breaking up my noted collection of exquisite and rare 
exotic butterflies and moths. Also British coleoptera, 8000 
specimens, 4000 species, mounted on cardboard without pins. 
Also bird's eggs. Full particulars sent. Wanted in exchange, 
European eggs. No post cards.— Henry Sissons, Brinclifte, 

Wanted, unmounted material of all kinds, in exchange for 
microscopic or lantern slides, or cash. — Joseph Severs, Aireth- 
waite, Kendal. 

In exchange for mounted sections of "Golden Osier " and 
holly-stems, double-stained, send good slides to A. Alletsee 
u Foley Street, London, W. 

"The Microscope," by Hon. Mrs. Ward, new cloth gilt, for 
Suffolk on " Microscopical Manipulation," or Gosse's " Evenings 
with the Microscope," or Martin's " Manual of Microscopic 
Mounting," or Cook's "Rust, Smut, Mildew, and Mould."— 
A. C. King, South Parade, Ledbury. 

Offers in exchange (either in foreign land, or foreign marine 
shells, the former most acceptable) for any of the following 
British land and freshwater shells, which I have duplicate speci- 
mens of at present — namely, J 1 , oblotiga, L. involuta, L. 
Burnetii, P. ringens, V. pusilla, V. substriata, V. alpestris, 
V. minutissima, V. angnstior, V. Monlinsiana.—W. Sutton, 
High Claremont, Newcastle-on-Tyne. 

Exotic insects of every description from India, Peru, China, 
America, Java, Africa, Ceylon, &c, exchange arranged by 
letter. Foreign correspondence specially requested. Selections 
forwarded on approval, before exchanging.— Sissens, Sharrow, 

Living water newt (Lissotriton palmipes) in exchange for 
living polyzoa, &c— J. B., 36 Windsor Terrace, Glasgow. 

Wanted, in exchange for fossils, seaweeds, and other natural 
objects, any old MSS. deeds, books, prints, &c, relating to 
Kent, Thanet, or Margate. — F. Stanley, Margate. 

Pathological crystals, cystin, leucin, tyrosin, &c, in 
exchange for good mounted or unmounted objects. — J. W., 10 
Evering Villas, Clapton, E. 

Small packet of diatomaceous earth (Stoneyford, Ireland) 
sent upon receipt of stamped envelope ; any object of interest 
will be thankfully accepted. I have some very fine selected slides 
of diatoms, some arranged in pattern, that I will exchange for 
fragments of Hyalonema mirabilis, or other good spicula bear- 
ing sponges.— W. White, 18 Convent Street, Nottingham. 

Offered Hooker and Baker's " Synopsis Filicum," 2nd ed., 
coloured plates. Wanted, Sach's "Text Book of Botany."— 
Jephthah Makin, Pendlebury, near Manchester. 

Wanted to exchange for rare plants, the Gagea lutea, and 
Chrysosplenium alter nifolium — George Hastwell, Darlington. 
Coral sections, British and foreign shells, fossils, minerals, 
and polished sections of madrepores ; will take fossils, rough 
corals, and foreign shells in exchange.— A. J. R. Sclater, Teign- 

Newt's eggs (living) in exchange for living polyzoa, melicerta, 
and similar objects. Send to J. B., 36 Windsor Terrace, 


"Evolution, Old and New." By the author of "Erewhon/ 
London : Hardwicke & Bogue. 

"Electric Lighting, and its Practical Application." By 
J. W. Shoolbred, B.A. London : Hardwicke & Bogue. 

" Organic Chemistry." By Hugh Clements. London : Blackie 
& Son. 

Noad's " Student's Text Book of Electricity." Revised by 
W. H. Preece. London : Crosby, Lockwood & Co. 

"Proceedings of the Literary and Philosophical Society of 
Liverpool," vol. xxxii., 1877-78. 

" Entomological Papers." By C. V. Riley. 

" The Silkworm :" being a brief manual of instructions for 
the production of silk. Washington : Government Printing 

" Midland Naturalist." May. J 

" Land and Water." May. 

" Ben Brierley's Journal." May. 

"Journal of Applied Science." May. 

" Animal World." May. 

"American Quarterly Microscopical Journal." April. 

"American Naturalist." April. 

" American Journal of Microscopy." April. 

"Characeae Americanae." By Timothy F. Allen, LL.D. 
Part I. 

" Feuille des Jeunes Naturalistes." March. 

" Bulletin de la Societe Beige de Microscopic" February. 

" Marine Engineering News." May. 
&c. &c. &c. 

Communications received up to 12TH ult. from : — 
E. D. M.— C. H. D.— T. B. W.— D. D.— A. B. F.— E. E.— 
W. H. W.— W. K.— C. F. W. T. W.— D. W.— E. M— E. V.— 
H. P. S.— J. W. S.— C. L. W.— G. T. B.— R. D.— M. W. T.— 
G. B.— W. B.— L. H.— C. J. W.— J. R. C— F. A. B— J. B.— 
J. M.— J. G.— E. J. O.— O. N. W.— C. P.— H. W. S.— J. W.— 

T. W. D.— H. J. G.— W. N.— T. S.— A. J. R W. G.— W.T.— 

E. B. K. W.— F. A— J. P. G.— H. M. J. S.— J. H. G.— W. E. C. 
— G. W. C— S. J. I. A— H. M. H.— H. S.— W. B. S.— A. M. 
-G. C— A. A.— A. C. K.— J. S. D.— W. S.— R. M.— H. C. B. 
— \V. L.— J. B.— F. C.-C. W. B.— W. B.— F. S.— H. J. W— 
J. M.— F. J. G.-A. M. P.— C. B.— W. D. S.— Dr. P. Q. K.— 
R. H.— W. R.— E. E. E.— G. H.— J. H.— J. 0. B.— H. W. H. 
-A. J. R. S.-J. W. jun.-&c. 




By G. C. Druce, F.L.S. 

ERY different was 
the scenery and 
atmosphere of 
Deeside from that 
of Jersey, but the 
same attractive 
spell of botanical 
rarities hung round 
each, although the 
flora was as dif- 
ferent as the at- 
mosphere and 
scenery. Here, 
instead of head- 
lands shining like 
opals from the 
profusion of Sedum 
angliaim, we had 
hills of dusky 
brown, in places 
flushing into ame- 
thystine tints from the half opened heather, or 
darkened into sombre olive-green where the pines of 
Mar and Invercauld grew in rich luxuriance. But 
the point of most attraction, as we lingered about the 
gardens of the Fife Arms, or strayed by the Cluny 
side, was the road leading to Glen Callater, although 
such mighty rivals as Ben na Bourd, Ben A'an and 
Ben McDhu, all celebrated for their rarities, were 
around. So it was towards Glen Callater we first 
started, following for a time the river Cluny, gathering 
close to the hotel Hieracium praiauthoides — and 
admiring the little stream as it fell in tiny rapids 
down to the Dee, but after proceeding some couple 
of miles, the glimpse of snow on McDhu, now 
appearing over Braemar, gave new object for our 
admiration, till this gave place to the pleasure of 
seeing Pyrola rotundifolia and Listera cordata grow- 
ing within a few feet of each other. The common 
plant of this portion of our walk was Alchemilla 
alpina ; Empetrum nigrum later on, however, dis- 
puted its claim. Leaving the Cluny for its tributary, 
No. 175. 

the Callater, after some little time we noticed right 
ahead precipitous cliffs, down one of which was 
pouring a tiny stream, the far-famed "Break Neck 
waterfall " of Glen Callater, where some elderly 
botanist got into such a dangerous place that he 
dared not go down and could not go back, and was 
thus imprisoned for more than a day. The Hieracium 
vulgatum was common by the steep sides of the 
stream till shortly before reaching the loch ; on more 
level ground, where the stream only slowly crept, it 
became bordered with bog plants, such as Drosera, 
Pinguicula, while in some of the more stagnant pools 
Chara syncarpa occurred, the quicker running stream 
yielding Chara pulchella. 

The lake itself contained Isoetes cchinospora and 
Lobelia Dortmanna. Here, six miles from Braemar, we 
commenced the ascent of Loch na Gar, gathering Poly- 
gonum viviparum and Carex binervis, and then were 
brought to a standstill by the abundance of Trientalis 
europtra, dwarfed to an inch or two in height, but with 
lovely large flowers. The ascent of the mountain is 
not particularly interesting, the best views being the 
corrie of Loch Kander and the waterfall, but several 
good plants were picked, among them being Hieracium 
aesium and chrysanthum, Caltha minor, Sibbaldia 
procumbens, and Saxifraga aizoides and stellaris, the 
two latter very common. At still higher elevation 
Luzula spicata, Carex rigida, and Juncus trifidus 
occurred, a great abundance growing among the stony 
debris, and then appeared the tiny Salix herbacca 
with its bright chestnut-red fruit, which with the 
three former continued nearly to the summit, from 
whence a splendid view was obtained over Deeside 
to Balmoral and Ballater, with the Scotch Alps 
Ben McDhu, Ben A'an, Cairntone, rather uninteresting 
in outline, being rounded and dumpy in appearance, 
and wanting the sharp peaks and fantastic outlines of 
Arran or Snowdonia ; but still very beautiful were 
the snow patches appearing now a blue grey as some 
passing cloud obscured the sun and now shining with 
dazzling brilliancy ; down below us was Loch Muick, 
while over by Glen Callater could be discerned the 




black Loch Kander with its precipitous corries, the 
rocks at the head of Glen Callater, and above these 
appeared the hill forming the watershed of the Clova 
mountains. Descending to the snow corrie, where in 
the water running from the snow we got some 
saxifrages, we soon came to Azalea procumbens and 
JSpilobium alpinum, and coming down by some 
roughish descent the ground near Loch Callater was 
covered with Arbutus Uva-ursi. 

Another day was spent in walking from Braemar 
to Loch Callater, and following the western side of 
the lake, near the head of which we came upon 
Veronica becca'ounga, dwarfed to a couple of inches, 
and with bright blue flowers contrasting beautifully 
with Saxifraga aizoides, with which it occurred. 

On the moorland leading up to Loch Kander, Carex 
pauci/lorus and RubusChamixmorus, the latter in flower, 
were gathered ; by the stream issuing from the loch 
Salix arenaria and Lapponum occur, and in the 
lake itself grew Callitriche hamulata. The corries 
round the lake were rich with rarities, rolypodium 
alpestre being especially fine. Rhodiola rosea, Saxi- 
fraga hypnoides, with the varieties gemmipara and 
sponkemica, Epilobiitm anagallidifolium, A /sine 
vertia, Polygala vulgaris approaching grandiftora, 
J uncus trifidus, triglumis, Carex pulicaris, pilulifera, 
and strange dwarfed specimens of Carex jlava, and 
some fine Asplenium viride, were soon gathered. At 
some elevation on the precipitous rocks were gathered 
Salix reticulata, lauata, and herbacea, Carex capil- 
lars, and abundance of Cochlearia alpina, Saussurea 
alpina, not quite in flower, and Hieracium pallidum, 
chrysanthum, nigrescens, and ccesium. This dark lake 
Kander, like so many of our British mountain lakes, 
is situated on the east side of the mountain, and it is 
probable that their position may be owing to glacial 
action, the great amount of snow and ice remaining on 
the colder side. Lakes in this position are to be 
seen on Ben Nevis, Cairngorm, Loch na Gar, and in 
many of the Welsh mountains. In the Lake District 
the difference between the south-western and north- 
eastern sides of the mountains is very marked, and 
High Street, Helvellyn, Scawfell have also these 
mountain tarns on the eastern side. 

To return, however, to the cliffs about Loch 
Kander, where some good scrambling was enjoyed in 
getting on to the rocks about the Break Neck water- 
fall, where magnificent J uncus triglumis and Carex 
atrata occurred. Then came a grassy place of a less 
steep inclination, where A spidium lonc/iitis grew almost 
by hundreds ; here too were found Lcontodon pratense, 
Carex alpicola and speirostachya. By the waterfall 
grew Veronica alpina, not in flower but with a 
bluish purple about the capsule ; the variety mon- 
tana of Alchemilla vulgaris ; the cudweeds G. supiuum 
in both its states pusillum and fuscum; a form of 
Carex binervis, which at first looked like frigida, and 
Salix nigricans, phylicifolia, andpseudo-glauca; Hiera- 
cium anglicum, Vaccinia m uliginosum, Air a montana. 

Silene acaulis and Saxifraga oppositifolia both occurred 
in flower, although very sparingly. At the boggy head 
of the lake Carex vesicaria, Potamogeton polygonifolius, 
and other common plants occurred, but after such 
a feast of rarities our botanical ardour required stronger 
stimulus than these to linger on our homeward walk» 

By J. J. Plummer, M.A., F.R.A.S. 

THERE are few pages in the history of astronomy 
that will read more strangely in the future 
than the belief which has been entertained so firmly 
during the last twenty years in the existence of a 
planet interior to Mercury, and which is generally 
known by the name of "Vulcan." No doubt much 
of the tenacity that has been shown in this matter is 
attributable to the respect due to the genius of the 
late M. Leverrier, who had a profound belief in the 
reality of its existence, and than whom there was 
none other more capable of estimating the value of 
the evidence in its favour. He subjected, one after 
another, the motions of all the major planets to the 
test of the most refined analysis, and had shown in 
every case how accurately the law of gravitation 
accounted for all the minor disturbances (technically 
called perturbations) which the several planets produce 
upon each other by their mutual attractions. One, 
and one only, appeared to defy his treatment and 
the Newtonian law alike, and this, the planet Mercury, 
the smallest of the larger planets, and the nearest to 
the sun. The direction of its elliptical orbit is 
certainly shifting slowly, and the attractions of the 
neighbouring planets were by him deemed insuffi- 
cient to account for the fact. No one had better 
reason to remember than Leverrier, how similar 
outstanding perturbations had been reduced to order 
by the discovery of the planet Neptune at the other 
extremity of the solar system, and it is, therefore, not 
surprising to find him confident that a like result 
would be achieved in this case. Indeed, so far as the 
theoretical side of the question is concerned, the case 
appears to be completely in favour of an undiscovered 
planet interior to Mercury, and the full weight of this 
evidence was doubtless not only felt, but exaggerated 
in the mind of the great French astronomer. 

The difficulty of verifying practically these conclu- 
sions by the actual discovery of a planet is very con- 
siderable, owing chiefly to the close proximity to the 
sun which such an object would constantly maintain, 
and the only hope of bringing the telescope to bear 
upon the actual body would necessarily be during an 
eclipse of the sun, or on the occasions when the planet 
might project itself on the solar disc. There are not 
wanting records, more or less definite and precise, of 
the appearance of minute spots upon the solar orb 
unlike the well-known sunspots, but unluckily no 
practised astronomer has yet succeeded in securing a 



glimpse of these strange objects, so very like planets in 
transitu. A number of them, some five or six, group 
themselves round a particular day in the month of 
March or October, in such a manner as to render it 
possible, at least, that they might be transits of the 
same body, for it is to be remarked that a transit of a 
planet can only be seen when the object is near one 
of the nodes of its orbit, that is, when it is crossing 
the ecliptic, and thus can only have place when the 
earth is in the same longitude as the node, or twice a 
year at an interval of six months. But now the diffi- 
culties begin to accumulate. If these five or six obser- 
vations of spots be really transits of a single planet, it 
should be possible to predict the recurrence of like 
transits, and Leverrier, believing in the trustworthi- 
ness of five of them, did predict a transit of Vulcan for 
the month of March 1877. The supposed planet, 
however, failed to put in an appearance, and Leverrier 
died while the question was still unsettled. 

Somewhat later M. Oppolzer has taken up the 
subject, and using eight observations of spots made at 
various times during the present century as bond fide 
transits of Vulcan, found that these could be reconciled 
by a second hypothesis differing considerably from 
Leverrier's, and which could readily be tested, as 
transits must occur very frequently, and he fixed the 
18th March of the present year as one of these crucial 
occasions. Just as previously, however, astronomers 
in all parts of the world anxiously scanned the sun 
upon the day named, and met with the same ill-success. 
Probably this would have been the last attempt of the 
kind, and astronomers would have remained content 
with this negative evidence as proving the non-exist- 
ence of Vulcan, but the question in the meantime had 
assumed a new phase. 

We have stated that Vulcan should be visible in 
all probability to the naked eye, and certainly with 
the aid of small telescopic power during a total 
eclipse of the sun. Frequently as these phenomena 
have been observed of late years by the most ex- 
perienced astronomers, none have glimpsed the 
doubtful Vulcan, although in justice it must be said 
that these precious moments have generally been 
fully occupied by the investigation of a variety of 
other important questions. As these, however, have 
gradually neared to a solution, the last total eclipse 
visible in America in July 1878 was devoted by several 
able astronomers to this task, and the search for 
Vulcan was perhaps the most prominent feature of 
the observation. Two of the observers alone claim 
to have seen planetary bodies near the sun, though 
perhaps in consequence of the haste in which their 
respective positions were noted it has not been found 
possible to identify and reconcile the remarks of the 
two discoverers, so that whether there were one or 
two or three or four Vulcans seen during the eclipse 
is regarded by some as an open question. One point, 
however, is conceded, viz., that none of the four can 
possibly be the theoretical Vulcan of Leverrier, nor 

the inferred planet of Oppolzer, and we are thus 
afforded valuable evidence that the cause of the 
erratic movements of Mercury has not been discovered, 
and in all probability is not discoverable in the shape 
of a planet nearer to the sun than it. 

It would be useless, however, to deny that much 
interest attaches to what was actually seen in America 
last year, and it is with a certain amount of relief 
that we find the examination of the observations then 
made has been taken in hand by so eminently able a 
mathematician as Dr. C. H. F. Peters, and a result 
evolved that admits of no cavil. He has shown to 
the satisfaction doubtless of all unprejudiced persons 
that the discoverers were themselves mistaken, and 
had fallen into the error of taking conspicuous stars 
to be minute planetary bodies, and without impugning 
either their ability or their honesty, the excitement 
and hurry of the moment are amply sufficient to 
account for the erroneous announcement which startled 
the world a few months since. At the very moment 
when the believers in Vulcan thought they had their 
hands on the object of their search have their hopes 
been dashed to the ground ; and as if to crush the 
last lingering remains of life entirely out of this hope- 
ful hypothesis the same astronomer has been able to 
show incontrovertibly that the most trusted observa- 
tion of the supposed planet on the solar disk is utterly 
unreliable. It is seldom that so fatal a stroke has 
been aimed at a long-cherished scientific fallacy. 

But it must not be forgotten that the change of 
position of the axis of Mercury's orbit is an ascertained 
fact and needs explanation. We require continually 
to improve by observation the data upon which our 
theoretical results are based, and should it be found, 
as there is already some ground for believing it may 
be, that the planet Venus is a denser and more 
powerfully attracting body than it has hitherto had 
the credit of being, the difficulty will be solved, and 
the theory of gravitation will stand in as proud a 
position as it could have done had the conjectures of 
Leverrier been confirmed by the discovery he so 
ardently longed for. 

By H. W. Syers, B.A. Cantab. 

THE consideration of the manner in which flowers 
are arranged on the axis which bears them is 
a very interesting and a very important division of 
botanical study. Not only do we find that flowers, in 
their position and arrangements, are far from occupy- 
ing merely haphazard and chance positions, but, on 
the contrary, in all cases the arrangement follows 
such simple and definite forms, that systematic 
botanists have found the inflorescence or antitaxis a 
most valuable assistance and guide in classification. 
The study of inflorescence teaches us not only the 
relative positions of the flowers to each other and to 

H 2 



the axis, but also the order in which they open, and 
this is called their evolution. We must remember 
that in all cases a flower-bud is like a leaf-bud ; and 
that the flowers, like the leaves, arise from the axis in 
one of two ways : that is to say, the buds are either 
produced in the angle formed by the inclination of a 
leaf to the stem (axillary), or else they arise from the 
termination of the axis (terminal). But in the axillary 
mode of inflorescence the leaf which forms the angle 
with the axis is called a bract. In many cases these 
bracts are not to be distinguished from leaves, and 
their structure is similar. Such instances occur in the 

from below upwards — those situated lowest expanding 
first, the axis itself being carried on indefinitely. Thus 
the expansion of the flower is centripetal — centre- 
seeking. The simplest form of the inflorescence is 
seen in the currant, fumitory, &c. In this the pedicels 
(secondary axes) are of equal length, and each has a 
bractlet at its base. The corymb is simply a slight 
modification of the raceme — the lower pedicels being 
longer than the upper ones, and thus forming a more 
or less flattened surface. It should be noticed that an 
inflorescence which at first appears to be corymbose, 
may ultimately become racemose — e.g. in Crucifera;. 


119. — Forget-me-not (Myosotis palustris), showing 
scorpioid inflorescence. 

periwinkle (Vinca), pimpernel (Anagallis) &c. But 
in other cases these bracts assume a very different 
appearance, so that even the most superficial observer 
would notice the want of resemblance to true leaves. 
Spathes, glumes, the involucre of Compositse and 
scales are all so many modifications of bracts, and it 
should be borne in mind that all these are but 
different forms and arrangements of leaves — the leaf 
being the morphological type on which the whole 
structure of the flower is founded. It is noticeable, 
in passing, that the presence or absence of bracts 
constitutes a valuable classificatory medium. Now, as 
has been mentioned above, flowers are either axillary 
or terminal in their relation to the axis. And it is this 
relation which gives origin to the two great divisions 
of inflorescence : indefinite and definite. In the former 
division the axis gives off axillary buds, which expands 

Fig. 120. — Comfrey (Symphytum officinale), showing scorpioid 

The umbel is another form of this inflorescence, the 
primary axis being shortened, and the secondary axes 
coming off from the same points (radii), so as to be 
nearly equal in length. 

Notice also the bracts forming the involucre and 
involucel in Umbelliferse. There is a term to which 
different meanings have been attached by different 
writers — the panicle. Perhaps the best definition of 
a panicle would be an inflorescence in which the 
secondary axes give rise to tertiary ones which bear the 
flowers. But it is frequently used to express a totally 
different kind of inflorescence (the definite), and, like 
all terms which are ambiguous, has become unsuited 
to the requirements of true science. The spike is simply 
a sessile raceme, and the spadix a succulent spike. 



We now pass on to the second great division of 
inflorescences, the determinate or definite. Here the 
primary axis ends in a solitary bud ; and if but a 
single floral axis is formed the inflorescence is of the 
simplest possible description. Should there be more 
than one axis, the others arise from the first in an 
axillary manner, but lower down and farther away 
from the central axis. The flowers expand in a 
centrifugal manner (centre-flying) and later, as 

secondary axes are three in number, and the arrange- 
ment is three-divided. It should be noticed that the 
cymose inflorescence is frequently associated with 
opposite leaves, though this is not always the case. 
A very interesting and most curious modification of 
the cyme is seen in the scorpioidal cyme. This is 
simply a dichotomous cyme, in which the buds on one 
side are not developed, thus becoming unilateral. A 
study of this mode of inflorescence, as seen in the Bora - 

Hg. 121. — White Dead-nettle (Lamium album), with cymose inflorescence 

regards time, than the flower terminating the pri- 
mary axis. The best example of a definite inflores- 
cence is the cyme, and can be well studied in the 
order Caryophyllacece. This cymose inflorescence 
may be either dichotomus or trichotomous. In the 
former, the primary axis gives rise by axillary buds to 
two secondary axes, and each of these again to two 
others. Thus there is a sort of division by pairs ; 
hence the term (Si'xa, by twos). In the latter the 

122. — Centaury (Erythrcra Cen/aurea), 
showing trichotomous cymes. 

ginaceoe {Myosotis, &c. (figs. 119 and 
120), will be found most interesting 
and instructive. Should any one feel 
doubtful as to his correct apprecia- 
tion of the term cyme, let him at 
once examine this form of the in- 
florescence, and his power of inter- 
preting the mode in which the 
flowers come off will afford a sure 
test of his accuracy in this respect. 
The last form of definite inflorescence 
that we shall notice is the verticil- 
laster. Here a pardonable mistake 
is easily made by the tyro in botany. 
For to all appearance the flowers 
are simply arranged in a circle or whorl around the 
axis. But more prolonged observation shows that this 
is not the case. In point of fact the inflorescence is 
cymose — though withal the cymes are nearly sessile — 
and, of course, the expansion of the flowers is centri- 
fugal. For this mode of inflorescence the common Dead- 
nettle {Lamium album, fig. I2l) and other Labiate may 
be studied. And now we must just touch on the 
subject of mixed inflorescence. In some cases the 



two kinds of inflorescence, definite and indefinite, 
may be observed on the same plant. For the inflores- 
cence, taken as a whole, may be definite, and the 
individual inflorescences may be indefinite, and vice 
versd. An example of this occurs in the genus 
Senecio, and in other genera of Composite. If a head 
of groundsel be examined it will be noticed that the 
aggregation of florets forming the capitula or heads, 
taken together, have a centripetal expansion, the 
general inflorescence being indefinite. But if the 
expansion of the individual heads be observed, it will 
at once become clear that the inflorescence is centri- 
fugal, and therefore definite. Here, then, in the 
same plant are found two distinct forms of inflores- 
cence, hence the inflorescence is said to be mixed. 
Another instance may be cited, that of the verticillaster 
of Labiatse. As explained above, the partial inflores- 
cence is definite and centrifugal ; but the general 
inflorescence is centripetal. There are many other 
examples of these mixed inflorescences, all of which 
are well worthy of careful study. The names of a 
few genera with mixed inflorescences are subjoined : 
horse-chestnut (/Esculus), flowering-rush (Butomus), 
Sparmannia, Veronica, &c. 

A review has now been taken of all the chief forms 
of inflorescence, and to one or other of these nearly all 
the inflorescences of the British orders may be referred. 
There are, however, some irregular forms which 
cannot be classified under any of these heads ; but 
they are comparatively few and unimportant. A 
noticeable form is that occurring in the butcher's 
broom (Ruscus aadeatus). Here the flowers are 
borne on those curiously modified stems to which the 
name of cladodes has been applied. On taking a 
survey of some of the natural orders, we see in how 
many a certain marked form of inflorescence obtains. 
For example : the prevailing form in Crucifene is the 
raceme or corymb ; in that interesting order Caryo- 
phyllacese, or Clovewort order, the cyme is the typical 
mode of inflorescence, and in no order can the di- and 
tri-chotomous cyme be studied in greater perfection. 
In Linaceae the inflorescence is cymose, and the genus 
Linum is peculiar in having this mode of inflorescence 
associated with alternate leaves, not opposite, as is 
usually the case. It is hardly necessary to refer to 
the inflorescence of the Umbelliferae, for it is so 
characteristic that it is impossible to mistake it. In 
Rubiacece (the Madder family) the flowers are often 
arranged in sessile or peduncled cymes. The in- 
florescence of Compositse has been already explained 
— as affording an instance of a union of the two great 
types. The cyme is again seen in great perfection in 
Gentianete — the Gentian order — and the beautiful little 
flowers and delicate trichotomous cymes of the Centaury 
(Erythma Centaurea, fig. 122) must be familiar to 
all. It is not necessary to describe the inflorescence of 
the Labiatse, as it has already been referred to. 
Other orders worthy of notice are Primulaceje, 
Lentibulariaceae (containing the curious genus Utri- 

cularia, supposed to be carnivorous) Plantaginacese, 
Urticacese, etc. A study of inflorescence in these 
and kindred orders, is of the highest interest and 
importance, giving not only enlarged and comprehen- 
sive views of the different flower-arrangements ob- 
taining in the different groups, but also training the 
mind to exact and precise methods of observation and 
comparison. And the writer has endeavoured, by 
drawing attention to this subject, to point out to all 
lovers of nature in general and of flowers in particular, 
how far preferable it is to start from the very first in 
a truly scientific and accurate spirit of enquiry. For 
in this single instance of flower-arrangement, an im- 
mense amount of mischief has been wrought to true 
botany by the ambiguous, loose, and inaccurate use 
of such terms as raceme, thyrsus, panicle, &c, so 
that since the time of MM. Roper and Bravais (to 
whom the first accurate observations of flower-ar- 
rangement are due) an immense vocabulary, totally 
meaningless and useless, has arisen on the subject of 
inflorescence. The writer hopes that some readers 
of Science-Gossip at all events will turn their 
attention to this most interesting subject, the study of 
which, in an intelligent and comprehensive manner 
must be attended with the best results. 

By E. D. Marquand. 

{Continued from p. 125.] 

AND now as to the flora of the New Forest. In 
richness and variety it yields to no other spot 
of equal area in the kingdom, though it is possible 
that a few specially-favoured localities may slightly 
exceed it in the number of species. Within the limits 
defined at the outset of this paper, I have found and 
catalogued very close upon seven hundred and fifty 
phanerogams ; besides these there are several which 
I know on excellent authority to exist, but have not 
as yet come upon them— and not to speak of those 
given in books as occurring, but which have not been 
traced, we have a total which does not fall far short 
of eight hundred ; that is, one half of the entire 
British flora as enumerated in the "London Catalogue." 
This is a goodly number for a district something 
under fifteen miles square. 

Some of the rarer and most interesting species 
which have come under my observation deserve a 
passing note, and it will facilitate reference and at 
the same time be more methodical, to follow the 
order adopted in the " London Catalogue." 

Number 1 first calls for notice : Clematis Vitalba, 
a plant common enough on the chalk, but one would 
scarcely expect to find it here, yet it flourishes in the 
hedges of a lane on the coast, a few miles from 
Lymington. Among the Crucifene only two need be 
mentioned : Diplotaxis muralis and Draba vema ; 
the latter (usually so abundant) being exceedingly 



rare in these parts ; I searched for it in vain during 
three seasons, and at last found it on a wall in the 
vicinity of Ringwood. Viola lactca occurs on many 
heaths, and I fancy I once found V. stagnina, but 
am not certain. Another generally common plant is 
hereof great rarity : Malachium aquaticum. Claytonia 
perfoliata grows in profusion in the sand at Mudeford 
and its neighbourhood, where in the salt marshes may 
be seen Altluca officinalis, and occasionally in the 
hedges (but always introduced, of course) Lavatera. 
The Leguminifera; include some rare species : no one 
walking across any of the forest heaths and moorlands 
in the month of August can fail to notice the trailing 
golden-blossomed Ulex nanus, which in some places 
attains a height of three feet or more. On the coast 
we get that very small plant with a very long name, 
Trigonella ornithopodioides, and Medicago macula/a. 
Trifolium glomeratum I discovered here last summer, 
and Vicia orolms, a northern plant, was pointed out 
to me ; as far as I know it only occurs in one spot, 
not easily discoverable, but when once seen its deli- 
cate pale green fern-like leaves are not to be mistaken. 
Though it is miles from any habitation I cannot, for 
various reasons, consider it truly indigenous. Agri- 
monia odorata I discovered two years ago ; it is a 
much larger plant than its congener, and may always 
be recognised by its lemon-like fragrance. I almost 
believe now that Isnardia palustris is extinct, in this 
part of the county at least. Tilliea mnscosa is 
frequent on sandy heaths. 

The Umbelliferse do not furnish anything very 
good, as far as my experience goes, except, perhaps, 
CEnanthe pimpinelloides, a rather common plant in 
this neighbourhood, Fceniadum, about Christchurch, 
and Crithnmm maritimum on the sea wall. Rubia 
pcregrina seems only to occur under the shade of the 
clematis before alluded to, so both may possibly have 
been introduced from the Isle of Wight. Tanacetum 
vulgare is rare ; Inula crithmoides grows here and 
there all along the sea wall, and Crepis biennis I 
have found on the coast. The delicate little Wahlen- 
bergia hederacea grows profusely in some boggy 
ground not far from Lyndhurst ; almost all over the 
Forest the tiny golden stars of Cicendia filiformis peep 
among the turf; and the splendid large blue corollas 
of Gentiana Pneumonanthe gleam among the heather 
on a few moist heaths. Linaria repens is common in 
hedges at Marchwood, and near Brockenhurst, and, 
in a few other places, Bartsia viscosa. Orobanche 
minor also grows near here, though sparingly, while 
0. major seems peculiar to Beaulieu. 

As everyone knows, Pulmonaria august if olia is one 
of the great botanical features, and is so widely and 
plentifully distributed throughout the forest that 
there is not much fear of its eradication. The lovely 
little Pinguicula lusitanica is common enough in the 
bogs, where may be seen the delicate threadlike 
branches of Utricularia minor, but U. intermedia, 
though abundant where it exists, is rare. In a few 

bog pools I have met with Sparganium minimum, 
and in one locality only the singular Actinocarpus 
damasonium. Of orchids we have a good number : 
Orchis incur nata I have seen growing with O. 
latifolia and O. macitlata in the bogs at Holmsley. 
Since writing my note in Science-Gossip, vol. xiv. 
p. 138 on Spiranthes ccstivalis, I have been so fortu- 
nate as to discover it in another part of the forest, 
well established and in great plenty. It is quite 
unnecessary here to specify the locality. The tiny 
Malaxis paludosa I find pretty widely distributed, 
though doubtless it frequently escapes observation. 
The habitat of Gladiolus illyricus is in the heart of the 
Forest, apparently flowering only once in two years — 
at any rate in some seasons not a single flower is to 
be seen. Luzula Forsteri, a handsome woodrush, 
grows both near Brockenhurst, and very abundantly 
in a wood near Beaulieu. 

The Cyperacerc include some very interesting 
plants : Rhynchospora fusca grows in almost all wet 
bogs, Scirpus uniglumis on many heaths, and Sc. 
Savii commonly in roadside ditches. The Carices 
are well represented : I have found thirty-three 
species, and know of three or four more. Among 
the best I have seen are Carex limosa, C. GSderi, and 
C. moutaua. The last flowers very early and was 
almost past when I discovered it last year. It is a 
rare sedge, and a good addition to the county flora. 

Lastly, the grasses. Among the best I know 
are : Leerzia oryzoides, in two or three parts, 
always on river-banks ; Phalaris canariensis, ap- 
parently wild on the sandy shore at Mudeford ; 
Gastridium lendigerum, frequent, mostly near the 
coast ; Agrostis setacea, on heaths near Brockenhurst ; 
Calamagrostis lanceolata, at Holmsley and Ringwood; 
Aira setacea (A. uligbiosa "Lon. Cat.'') in several of 
the bogs near Brockenhurst ; Sclerochloa procumbens 
near the sea ; Briza minor, occasional, and nearly 
always in cultivated fields ; Bromus madritensis, 
not far from the shore, and Triticum acutum at 

Twenty species of ferns are said to occur, but I 
cannot say whether quite as many are to be had 
within the district about which I am writing ; I know 
of sixteen only. The stately Osmunda regalis is well 
distributed ; I have seen it in half-a-dozen places 
within a couple of miles of Brockenhurst, sometimes 
forming large clumps, with fronds three or four feet 
long, sometimes helping to make the hedge of a field. 
Lastrea oreopteris is frequent in old woods, and so is 
L. spinulosa. In most hedgebanksin the south grows 
Scolopendrium vulgare frequently side by side with 
Asplenmm trichomanes, which here luxuriates in dry 
shady banks rather than old walls, for one simple 
reason — old walls are exceedingly scarce. Asp. 
ruta-muraria grows sparingly on the ruins of 
Beaulieu Abbey, and Ophioglossum vulgatum on 
Ashley Common. Lastrcea thelypteris grows some- 
where in the vicinity of Lyndhurst ; the exact spot I 

i5 2 


have not hitherto been able to discover. The Fir 
Club-moss (Lycopodium selagd) occurs on Setley 
Heath and near the old Beaulieu Road station. 

Of mosses I have collected many fine and interest- 
ing species. Anomodou viticulosus is frequent on 
trees, and so is Neckera pumila, which fruits at 
Knyghtvvood. Campylopus brevipilus is common on 
the borders of some woods ; near the sea we have 
Orthotrichum phyllanthum, and at Sway Leptodon 
Smithii. About fifty species of Hypnitm have come 
under my notice, and probably several others occur. 
Among these are H. arspitos/tm, H. glareosuni, 
H. megapolitanum, H. illecebrum, and H. chryso- 
phyllum. In some of the woods near Brockenhurst 
H. triquetriim fruits abundantly, and H. scorpioides 
grows to a very large size ; I have seen it nearly a 
foot in length. Splachnum anipitllaceiim occurs in 
the bogs, and the Sphagnums include some very 
curious forms, which it will probably be less difficult 
to identify when Dr. Braithwaite's new work is 

The New Forest may perhaps be regarded as the 
metropolis of corticolous lichens, while the saxicolous 
sections are either very poorly represented or alto- 
gether absent. The Graphidei are very abundant, 
and in this tribe I have collected such species as 
Gr aphis dendritica, Opegrapha leutiginosa, O. viridis, 
and Arthonia pimctiformis, some of which are common, 
and I have found many of the rarer Calicia generally 
distributed. At Knyghtwood, not far from the famous 
Knyghtwood Oak, the largest oak in the Forest, may 
be seen within a few yards of each other three interest- 
ing cryptogams : Pannaria rubiginosa, Stictina limbata, 
and Hypnitm loreum, and at no great distance Ricasolia 
latevirens fruits abundantly. On Roydon Common, 
near Brockenhurst, grows the curious Pycnothelia 
papi llaria with inflated podetia, and in the Hinchelsea 
woods the delicate little Normandina pulchella, which 
has something of the appearance of a pale blue scale- 
moss. The species of Lecidea, Lecanora and Verrucaria 
are " too numerous to mention." 

And now in conclusion I have just two words to 
say as to the Diatomacese, of which I have collected a 
considerable number of species in this neighbourhood. 
I find my notes have already stretched to such a 
length that I cannot even mention the names of many 
interesting forms ; three species, however, on account 
of their rarity, deserve brief mention. The first is the 
pentagonal variety of Amphitetras antediluviana ; the 
discovery of which I recorded in Science-Gossip in 
January, 1877. It is rare, and always accompanies 
the more common form, the var /3. All those who 
have seen it will, I am sure, agree that it is one of 
the most striking and beautiful of British diatoms. 
The next is Sitrirella elegans, figured in Science- 
Gossip, vol. iv. p. 132, a diatom identical with the 
Sur. sclesvicensis of American deposits, but which as a 
British species appears to be very little known among 
diatomists. It has occurred in almost all my bog 

gatherings, sometimes in abundance and of very large 
size ; indeed I look upon it as about the commonest 
oiowx Surirelhc, excepting perhaps S. biseriata. Lastly, 
another of the same genus described and figured as a 
new British diatom in Science-Gossip, vol. v. p. 61, 
under the name of 'Sitrirella Capronii, a species differing 
from all others of the genus by the possession of two 
hornlike processes springing from the median line. 
I found it in small numbers in a salt-marsh gathering, 
and my specimens are very much larger and finer 
than the ordinary forms of S. splendida. The only 
British locality for it then given was Shere, in Surrey. 
This brings my remarks on the fauna and flora of the 
New Forest to a close. Very imperfect they cannot 
fail to be, since only a few species have been selected 
to illustrate each section ; and even my own lists, 
compiled from personal observation and comprising 
some thousands of names, are in almost every 
department still far from approaching completeness. 
But there are many naturalists devoted to special 
branches who might add largely to our knowledge 
of the rich natural resources of one of the most 
delightful, interesting, and exhaustless districts in the 
United Kingdom. 

By the Rev. S. Barber, F.M.S. 

HOW glorious and awe-inspiring a spectacle is 
presented to the student of nature's mysteries, 
when, flashed in an instant through the impenetrable 
gloom of night there stands out before his unsuspect- 
ing sight a varied and sublime expanse of cloud 
scenery, distinctly revealed ; towering crags, dark 
abysses, and every lineament of its gorgeous struc- 
ture, traced sharply out by the dazzling and unearthly 
splendour of the lightning. 

By daylight, in such a condition of the atmosphere, 
when the electrical tension of the individual cloud 
masses towards each other and between these and 
the earth is unusually strong, we cannot fail to observe 
the sharpness of definition, apparent solidity and 
great volume which the cumuli exhibit. There is, 
however, no more remarkable characteristic observ- 
able at these times of electrical disturbance than the 
individuality of structure, if I may so express it, 
which they present to view ; an individuality of form 
which appears to be intimately related to the electrical 
tension of each mass of vapour. This may be well 
seen when two highly condensed and vertically posed 
peaks rise aloft, and drawing into close proximity to 
one another, leave a long narrow interstice with 
jagged edges between them. (See fig. 123.) 

Such an appearance is probably never seen in settled 
weather, being, in fact, one of the most striking in- 
dications of electrical excitement. The forms illus- 
trated in the sketch are perhaps rather evidences of 
repulsion than attraction between the masses. 



Sir \V. Snow Harris, in his treatise on electricity,* 
suggests the following as a brief explanation of the 
discharge between the clouds and the earth: "If,'' 
says this writer, "we consider attentively the elec- 
trical conditions of a thunderstorm, we may observe 
in them all the elements of the Leyden experiment : 
the atmosphere in fact becomes a great coated pane, 

regard to the air which forms their base. Thus one 
large, leading cumulus may become a centre of 
force ready to operate, not only on the earth beneath, 
but on various collateral masses of the surrounding 
vapour, when the general equilibrium is disturbed. 

The tension, then, becoming too great, and the 
balance of forces being disturbed, the discharge 

Fig. 123. — Approach of Electrical Cloud-masses. 

Fig. 124. — Approach of Electrical Cloud-masses, seen in perspective. 

or fulminating square, of which the charged cloud is 
the insulated and the surface of the earth the unin- 
sulated, terminating conducting planes ; the phenomena 
of thunder and lightning are neither more nor less than 
disruptive discharges through the intervening air." 

In explaining the thunderstorm by reference to the 
principles of electrical induction, and of the disruptive 
discharge, the reader will observe that much depends 
upon the condition of the air contiguous to the earth and 
subjacent to the cloud — in regard to conductive power. 

And it may well happen that large masses of cloud, 
separated, perhaps by intervals of several miles, may 
be very differently situated in this respect, with 

* Sixth ed. Virtue & Co. 

ensuing would connect together the different points — • 
centres of the masses — and these again with the earth. 
The instantaneous dissolution of a polygon of forces 
in this way, would, through the electric current, 
darting from point to point, involve an interlacing or 
net-work pattern in the lightning flash. 

Vast, however, as is the force which the lightning 
wields, an apparently slight circumstance may direct 
its course. The configuration of the earth beneath 
as affecting the upward vapour currents ; the presence 
of smoke or metallic dust might be responsible for 
effects most disastrous to man ; so delicately balanced 
are the forces of nature. 

Such atmospheric conditions may perhaps be 



suggested as the origin of that rare and magnificent 
phenomenon which we have here denominated 
" Net " * lightning — one of the most glorious 
evidences of the power and majesty of Him who 
creates and upholds the universe ; every atom in the 
dust of the balance being, as Charles Kingsley 
beautifully puts it, " distinctly and deliberately 
divine." Each particle is, indeed, if we but knew one 
half of the laws by which it is actuated, as much a 
witness to the science and the "Art of God,"'f as 
the Kosmos itself; as distinctly the handiwork of 
the Great Artificer as is the majestic expanse of the 
starlit sky. 


By H. G. Glasspoole. 

THE cucumber is known to have been cultivated 
for more than three thousand years. In ancient 
Egypt it was extensively grown, and is so at the 
present day ; the succulent nature of the plant en- 
abling it to resist the drought of the sandy plains, 
while it flourishes well in the richer soils watered by 
the Nile. The want of this vegetable was one of the 
grievances complained of to Moses by the Israelites 
in the wilderness ; we also find it mentioned in other 
parts of Scripture. The cucumber is mentioned in 
a particular manner by some of the early Greek 
writers on plants. Theophrastus, writing on the 
cucumber, enumerates three varieties— the Boeotian, 
Scytalic, and Laconican ; the last, he states, thrives 
better with watering than the others. Diodes, of 
Carystus, an ancient town of Greece, tells us that 
the cucumber eaten with sium at the first course of a 
meal makes the eater uncomfortable, for it gets into 
the head as the radish does, but that if eaten at the 
end of supper it causes no uncomfortable feeling and 
is more digestible. We are told that the farmers of 
those days considered that if their seed was steeped 
in the juice from the root of the cucumber it would 
be protected from the ravages of insects. 

Cucumbers grown in the neighbourhood of Antioch 
were considered by the ancient Greeks the finest. 
Columella, one of the oldest Roman writers on 
agriculture, mentions that the inhabitants of Mendes 
in Egypt were accustomed to take the largest bramble- 
bush they could find, transplant it to a warm, sunny 
spot, cut it down at about the time of the vernal 
equinox to within a couple of fingers of the ground, 
then insert a seed of the cucumber into the pith of the 
bramble, the roots of which were well covered over 
with fine earth and manure to withstand the cold. 
By this plan they were enabled to have cucumbers all 
the year round. This same author states that cucum- 
bers ought to be propagated from seed that has been 

* A reticulated pattern, instantaneously impressed upon a 
large expanse of sky. q 

f Such is the term applied to Nature by Sir Thomas Browne. 

steeped in milk and honey for a couple of days, this 
method having the effect of rendering them sweeter 
and pleasanter to the taste. He also gives directions 
to his own countrymen for forcing this plant by 
artificial means. Those who wish to have them 
early, he says, should plant the seed in well-dunged 
earth, put into osier baskets, that they may be carried 
out of the house and planted in warm situations when 
the weather permits. The baskets may be put upon 
wheels so that they may be brought in and out with less 
labour, and as soon as the season advances the baskets 
may be sunk in the earth. Pliny states that in Italy 
the cucumbers are small, but in some countries are re- 
markably large and of a wax colour or black. Those 
from Africa are most prolific. He mentions that by 
nature the cucumber has a wonderful hatred of oil, 
but has a great affection for water. Of this fact, he 
says, we may be satisfactorily convinced in a single 
night, for if a vessel filled with water is placed four 
fingers distant from a cucumber it will have descended 
into it by the following morning — but if the same is 
done with oil it will assume the curved form of a 
hook by the next day. This same author tells us 
that the Emperor Tiberius was so fond of cucumbers, 
and took such pleasure and delight in them, that they 
were served up at his table every day all the year 
round. The beds and gardens wherein they grew 
were made upon frames so as to be removed every 
way with wheels, and in winter during the cold 
frosty days they would be drawn into certain high- 
covered buildings exposed to the sun, which was 
admitted through frames or lights covered with lapis 
specularis, probably talc or some transparent mineral, 
which the Romans knew well how to split into thin 
laminae, so that light might be transmitted through 
it. This appears to be the earliest account of forcing 
plants which we read of in ancient times (Phillips, 
" Pomarium Britannicum "). 

The Romans, from the remains of their villas found 
in this country, appear to have been acquainted with 
the art of heating their rooms with flues and hot 
water, and from this we are led to believe that cu- 
cumbers and other vegetables were extensively forced 
during the days of Roman splendour. Pliny men- 
tions that a new variety of this plant had accidentally 
been produced in his time in Campania, the fruit of 
which was of the form of a quince ; it did not grow 
hanging, but assumed its round shape as it lay on 
the ground ; the seeds from this produced similar 
plants. The name given to this variety was Melopepo 
(Fee says that this is the melon, the Cucumis melo of 
Linnaeus). Pliny appears to have considered this 
vegetable unwholesome in an uncooked state, as he 
tells us it will live in the stomach until the next day, 
and cannot be reduced to food, but when boiled and 
served up with oil, vinegar, and honey they make 
a delicate salad ; he also recommends a pinch of the 
seed beaten up with cummin and taken with wine 
as a good remedy for a cough. 



We have no precise date when the cucumber was 
first cultivated in England. It may have been intro- 
duced with other fruits and vegetables at the time 
the Romans were masters of this country. According 
to a note in Gough's "British Topography," vol. i. 
p. 134, it was, with the melon, commonly cultivated 
in the reign of Edward III. (1327), but in consequence 
of the wars between the Houses of York and Lancaster 
the cultivation of them, like other plants, became 
neglected, and at last entirely lost. It was introduced 
again at the later part of the reign of Henry VIII. 

Our old friend Gerard mentions them thus in his 
Herbal (1596) : "There be divers sorts of cucum- 
bers, some great, others lesser, some of the garden, 
some wild, some of one fashion and some of another. 
There be also certain long cucumbers which were 
first made (as it is said) by art and manuring, which 
nature afterwards did preserve, for at first when the 
fruit was very little it is put into some hollow cane, 
or other thing made for the purpose, in which the 
cucumber groweth very long by reason of that narrow 
hollowness, which, being filled up, the cucumber in- 
creaseth in length. The seed of this kind being sown 
bringeth forth not such as were before, but such as 
art has framed which of their own growth are found 
long and ofttimes very crookedly turned, and therefore 
they have been called Anguine, or long cucumber." 
Gerard extols the cucumber "mixed with oatmeal 
pottage and eaten at every meal for three weeks as 
a perfect cure for persons afflicted with flegme and 
copper faces, red and shining fierie noses (as red 
as roses) with pimples, pumples rubuse and such- 
like precious faces ; but at the same time they are to 
be sure to wash their faces with a decoction of vinegar, 
orris root, camphor," etc. This old author also gives 
the earliest direction in this country for making hot- 
beds for cucumbers. He directs that they should 
be covered with mats over hoops, as glasses were 
not known at that time. 

Lord Francis Bacon, who wrote about 1598, says 
cucumbers "will prove more tender and dainty if 
their seeds be steeped in milk. The cause may be 
for that the seeds being mollified in milk, will be too 
weak to draw the grosser juices of the earth, but only 
the finer." He adds, "cucumbers will be less 
watery if the pit where you set them be filled half 
way with chaff or small sticks, and then pour earth 
upon them ; for cucumbers, as it seemeth, do 
exceedingly affect moisture, and over-drinketh them- 
selves, which this chaff or chips forbiddeth." He 
also states that in his day " it was the practice to cut 
off the stalks of cucumbers immediately after bearing, 
close by the earth, and then to cast a pretty quantity 
of earth upon the plant that remaineth, and they 
would bear fruit the next year, long before the 
ordinary time. The cause may be for that the sap 
goeth down sooner, and is not spent in the stalk or 
leaf, which remaineth after the fruit ; where note, 
that the dying in winter of the roots of plants that are 

annual, seemeth to be partly caused by the over- 
expense of the sap into stalks and leaves, which being 
prevented, they will superannuate, if they stand warm." 
Parkinson, in his " Paradisus," 1656, tells us that 
in many countries they do eat cucumbers as we do 
apples and pears, paring and giving slices of them as 
we would to our friends of some dainty apple or pear. 
The cucumber was not generally cultivated till almost 
the middle of the seventeenth century, and it is stated 
that the first successful forcer of this plant in England 
was Thomas Fowler, gardener to Sir Nicholas 
Gould, of Stoke Newington, who presented a brace 
of well-grown fruit to King George I. on New Year's 
Day, 1 72 1 ; the seeds from which they were raised 
were sown on the 25th of September. Some years 
ago the cucumber was cultivated in large quantities in 
the outskirts of London, and it is stated in Dr. 
Wynter's "Curiosities of Civilisation," page 229, that 
fourteen acres might be seen under hand-glasses in a 
single domain, and that it has been known that 
200,000 gherkins have been cut in a morning for the 
pickle merchants. It is also stated that cucumbers 
have refused to grow well around London ever since 
the outbreak of the potato disease. In Loudon's 
time large quantities were grown in the fields of 
Hertfordshire without the aid of glass for the London 
markets during the summer months. The village of 
Sandy in Bedfordshire has been known to furnish 
10,000 bushels of gherkins in one week for pickling 
purposes. The cucumber, notwithstanding its 
extensive use among all classes in this country, is 
considered unwholesome by most medical practi- 
tioners. Dr. Doran, in his " Table Traits," mentions 
that in the days of Evelyn (1699) tne cucumber was 
looked upon as only one remove from poison, and 
adds that it had better be eaten and enjoyed with that 
opinion in memory. Abernethy also gave a quaint 
recipe for its use, which was to peel the cucumber, 
slice it, pepper it, put vinegar to it, then throw it out 
of the window. The extent to which the cucumber 
is consumed by the inhabitants of Egypt and the 
South-west of Asia, but also in European Russia 
and Germany would scarcely seem credible in this 
country. A correspondent of the "Daily News," in 
the summer of 1874, returning from the fair of Nijni- 
Novgorod, was struck with the (profusion of water 
melons and cucumbers everywhere offered for sale. 
Pyramids of melon and water-melons, like cannon- 
balls in an arsenal, were heaped up in every direction, 
and as for cucumbers, you could not help fancying 
that a plague of them, like locusts, had descended 
upon the earth. You never see a Russian peasant at 
dinner but you see the lump of black bread and a 
cucumber. The cucumber seems certainly a singular 
dish to be so national in a country with a climate 
like Russia. It is the last that one would have 
selected a priori for the post ; but this is only one of 
the great many singularities one meets with. The 
cucumber costs about the thirtieth part of a penny about 



the Volga ; perhaps this fact will explain the anomaly. 
(See "Gardener's Chronicle," 24th Oct. 1874). 
Some writer says there used to be a great annual fair 
at Leipzig for cucumbers, when the streets were heaped 
up a story high with that precious element of German 
cookery. In Germany barrels of half and also full- 
grown cucumbers are preserved from one year to the 
other by immersion in deep wells, where the uniform 
temperature and exclusion from air seem to be the 
preserving agents. 

Nothing can be more agreeable to our olfactory 
nerves on a hot summer's day than the refreshing and 
cooling scent of a fresh-sliced cucumber, but perhaps 
it is not generally known that in the art of perfuming 
it finds its way to the toilet-table under the form of 
cold cream and milk of cucumbers. The large seeds 
of this tribe are employed instead of almonds in 
making cheap sugar-plums. The word cucumber is 
derived from the Latin cucuniis, meaning the same 
thing. Some time since there was a controversy 
carried on in " Notes and Queries" as to the proper 
pronunciation of the first syllable, whether it should be 
cow or at. Parkinson (1656) writes it " cowcumber," 
by which name it is called by the uneducated, but 
people with any education would never think of 
writing or pronouncing it otherwise than " cucumber." 
Tartary has been assigned to this species of cucumber 
as its native country, but upon what authority is 
equally questionable with that of the melon. No 
modern traveller appears to have found it wild. 


No. VII. 

By J. E. Taylor, F.L.S., F.G.S., &c. 

IT is with a sense of delighted relief that we once 
more resume this series 
of articles ; which have been 

Fig. 125. — Extinct kind of Free 
Crinoids (Marsitpiics Milleri), 
from White Chalk. 

unavoidably interrupted by a 
too prolonged pressure and 
strain of other literary work. 
We propose in the present 
article to call attention to the 
commonest fossils belonging 
to the Star-fish and Sea- 
urchin family. Few fossils 

have a prettier or"more attractive aspect than they, 
and none exceed them in the singular beauty of their 
structures, and their marvellous adaptation to their 
ancient habits of life. 

Now that we have got rid of the useless term 
"Radiata," and are beginning to arrange animals in 
their natural relationship to each other, we have 

Fig. 127. — Astcrias tcssellata, one of the Cushion-stars. 

:'"ig. 126. — Pentrcmitcs flo- 
rcalis, one of the Blastoi- 
dca, from Carboniferous 
Limestone, n, Profile ; b, 
summit ; c, base or pelvis. 

Fig. 128. — " Five-fingers " Star-fish (Uraster rubens). 

begun to learn comparative zoology. To this most 
interesting study the whole science of paleontology — 
or that which deals with the extinct life of our globe — 
contributes equally with zoology. In surveying such 
a large natural group as that formed by the annuloid 
animals, we are frequently surprised by the singular 
way in which otherwise extreme types spring from 
almost common or neutral ground. Thus, the extinct 
groups of Cystideans and Pentremites, peculiar to 
the Palaeozoic rocks, and which severally represent two 
different orders, in some measure come as near to the 
Encrinite family on one side as the Pouch Encrinite 
(Marsupites) of the chalk formation does both to them 



and the Echini on the other. The Cushion-stars 
(Goniasters), run very near to the Cake-urchins or 
Clypeasters, although the former are star-fishes and 
the latter sea-urchins, and perhaps both these touch 
as nearly as any of their class to the Cystideans, 
Pentremites, and Marsupites. 

Both star-fishes and sea-urchins are, geologically 

been in existence throughout all the silent revolu- 
tions, physical and biological, which have so often 
taken place on the surface of the globe, and our 
modern star-fishes are as lineal and directly uninter- 
rupted descendants of these early Cambrian fossil 
forms, as mankind are from their " first parents." 
The upper part of the skin of such star-fishes as the 

Fig. 130. — Separate hooks of "Brittle Star' 
Tosula), much magnified. 

speaking, exceedingly ancient. With the exception 
of certain Brachiopoda, we know of no other group of 
animals which have maintained their peculiar shapes 
for a longer time than the star-fishes. As far back as 
the Cambrian period we find two well-differentiated 
orders in existence, one represented by the modern 
"five-fingers" (Uraster) and the other by the brittle- 
stars (Ophiura). Evidently these two types have 

Fig. 133.— Fossil Star-fish (PaUrocotna Marstotii), Lower 
Ludlow Rocks. 

"five-fingers" {Uraster nibens) is thickened and 
roughened and strengthened by the presence of grains 
or irregular spicules of carbonate of lime. If each 
of these grains had gone on increasing in size by 
addition to its margin, they would have grown until 
they touched each other, but would not have fused, 
and then we should have had regular plates instead of 
grains, and the whole body would have been covered 
by a kind of tessellated pavement. This is exactly 



how the amis of the Brittle-stars (Ophiuridae) and the 
margins of the arms and body of the Cushion- stars 
(Goniaster and Asterias) have been so regularly and 
beautifully armed, the former even more effectually 
than a mediaeval mail-clad knight. The two groups 
so anciently separated, are easily recognised. Thus 
the "five-fingers" and "sun-stars" (Solasters) so 
abundant on our British coasts have the under 
surfaces of their arms grooved. In and out of these 
grooves we perceive rows of small, white, grub-like 
objects which slowly wriggle to and fro if we turn 
a star-fish on its back, and finally end by bending 
over and attaching their tips to the rock by means 
of suckers. Then by an united exertion they pull 
over the star-fish to its proper position. A young 
observer has not long to experiment on living star- 
fishes before he finds that these grub-like objects 
serve all the purposes of feet— that the star-fishes can 
glide along even perpendicular surfaces by their 
means. They are hundreds in number, but all are 
fashioned alike, and the mechanism which renders 
them locomotive organs is of the most wonderful 
character. These feet are termed by naturalists 
ambulacral, but we defer a detailed description of 
them until we come to speak of the Sea-urchins. The 
stomach of this kind of star-fish is continued up each 
arm, and this fact naturally groups together genera 
which may have a greater number of arms than five, 
as the "sun-stars" (Solaster) which have twelve. 

In the "brittle-stars" (Ophiuridae), on the con- 
trary, the stomach does not extend to the arms, 
although the nervous branches of the ganglion sur- 
rounding the mouth do. The "sun-stars" have only 
two rows of suckers, whilst the "five-fingers" possess 
four. In the "brittle-stars" we have the central 
disc covered with jointed calcareous plates, and the 
arms defended by four rows of the same. There are 
no sucking feet, however, but the arms are employed 
as organs of locomotion, in which they are aided, as 
Mr. Fred. Kitton has shown, by short hooks which 
take hold of the surface and thus obviate the 
necessity of sucking-feet. Nature has usually more 
than one way of meeting a difficulty, and this is a case 
in point with the progression of the star-fishes. 

Many star-fishes are characteristically deep-sea 
animals, and perhaps the Echinodermata, to which 
both star-fishes and sea-urchins belong, range to and 
continue over deep parts of the ocean-bed, more 
than any other group of marine animals. Thus, 
during the deep-sea dredgings of the " Challenger " 
we find such genera as Opliiomiisium, Arc/iaster, &c, 
dredged up, the latter from more than a mile and a 
half depth of sea water. A large star-fish, called 
Leptychaster, allied to our Luidia, was brought up off 
Cape Maclear, Kerguelen's Island, in very deep water. 
Another genus, Hymenaster, was found to be very 
widely distributed over the sea-floor, and at depths 
ranging from about half a mile to more than three 
miles. Star-fishes and their allies, sea-urchins, are 

usually the commonest fossils of the Chalk formation, 
which we know was an oceanic deposit formed under 
very similar circumstances to the " globigerina ooze " 
of the mid- Atlantic. Dr. Wallich showed, when sound- 
ing in the "Bull Dog" for the first Atlantic cable, 
that the ocean floor was occupied by star-fishes, for 
these animals came up attached to the sounding-lead, 
and this incident first broke people's faith in the old- 
received notion that absence of light in the deep sea 
rendered it a desert for all bottom animals except the 

The Asteridce (represented by our common "five- 
fingers "), and the Ophiuridae or " brittle-stars," as 
we have said, are found in Cambrian rocks. We 
have seen specimens better preserved in the fossil 
state than dried recent specimens usually are in 
museums. Sea-urchins also lived in the Palaeozoic 
epoch, but they do not appear to have thriven well. 
Only two genera are known, and these are represented 
by but few species during periods long enough to form 
strata thicker than all the Secondary deposits taken 
together. But when we come to the Secondary period 
we find the Sea-urchins gaining ground. By-and- 
by, as in the Chalk formation, they are wonderfully 
common, and of multitudinous shapes and types. But 
by this time the Encrinites, which we have seen were 
so plentiful on the floors of primaeval seas, had begun 
to decline. Broadly, therefore, it may be stated that 
the Sea-urchins begin to flourish just when the Encri- 
nites commenced to decline. 

The fossil star-fishes are not as a rule abundant, 
unless perhaps, we except a particular stratum in the 
Middle Lias, where they are so plentiful that the 
seam is called the " star-fish bed." At Leintwardine, 
where the Lower Ludlow rocks crop up and are 
quarried, we meet with both the kinds of fossil star- 
fishes of which we have been speaking. Speaking of 
Protester Miltoni (one of the ancient " brittle stars "), 
Mr. Salter says it is "abundant, and of all sizes," 
meaning, we suppose, in various stages of growth. 
Few localities are better worth a geological pilgrimage 
than this part of Shropshire. It is only six miles 
from Ludlow, where the celebrated "Bone-bed" of 
the upper Silurian rocks may be advantageously 
studied. The Lower Ludlow rocks at Leintwardine 
are not much quarried, for they are a kind of " mud- 
stone," of little commercial value. Otherwise there 
is no doubt the number of fossil star-fishes which would 
be exhumed would be immense. Unfortunately, since 
Mr. Salter's time, the quarry where the fossil star- 
fishes were once so abundantly found has been either 
worked out, or excavation has been discontinued. 
Mr. Marston, of Ludlow, has a splendid series of these 
fossils, among them Prolaster Marstoni. Shepherd's 
Quarry, near Ludlow, is another good hunting-ground. 
In some respects, one species, perhaps the most 
beautiful of the entire group, named after Professor 
Sedgwick (P. Sedgwickii), is allied to the "Feather- 
stars" (or rather to one division of them called Euryale 


r 59 

on account of the peculiar spines on the plates of its 
arms. This species is found only in the older rocks, 
such as the Caradoc beds at Bala, on the west side of 
the beautiful lake. At Benson's Knot, Docker Park, 
and other places near Kendal, in Westmoreland, 
where the upper Ludlow rocks crop out and quarries 
are opened in them, a student may expect to find 
Palasterina primava, and Uraster Ruthveni, the 
latter named after one of the most diligent and devoted 
of amateur geologists that ever lived. Both the latter 
fossils belong to the same group as our modern " five- 
fingers," and they have been beautifully preserved 
(as any one may see, who pays a visit to the Kendal 
Museum), in spite of the skin being only thickened 
and not plated, with calcareous spicules. Two 
species of fossil star-fishes have been found rather 
plentifully in the Cambrian rocks at Welshpool, 
Meifod, and Corwen. Next we come to the Lias 
strata for abundant star-fishes, and we have seen 
that one bed is especially rich in them. The Liassic 
species usually belong to the "brittle-stars," and the 
commonest of these fossils is Ophiolepis Egertoui, 
found at Staithe, near Whitby ; and also abundantly 
in various places in Dorsetshire, especially at 
Seaborne. Specimens of this star-fish may be seen 
in nearly every museum in England. 

The marginal plates or ossicles of star-fishes allied 
to the cushion-stars (Goniaster), are not uncommon 
in the Chalk, and in the flints which come from that 
deposit. In the chalk quarries atGravesend, Charlton, 
many places in Kent and Sussex, as well as Norfolk 
(particularly about Norwich) remains of these Echino- 
derms may be found, but only by practised eyes. 
We have seen perfect specimens imbedded in the flint 
nodules obtained from Ipswich and Norwich. In the 
London Clay of the Isle of Sheppey we find similar 
remains of Goniasters ; ossicles, plates, &c, in a more 
or less perfectly preserved condition. 

We should be glad to hear from any of our geo- 
logical correspondents further details respecting the 
" star-fish bed " in the Lias— its locality, extension, 
species, &c. ; and, indeed, concerning any fossil star- 
fish locality. 



glad to note further confirmatory evidence in your 
columns with reference to the existence of a bulb or 
sucker at the extremity of flagellum in Euglena viridis, 
and may further remark that Mr. George Harkus 
notes a central darkening or marking, indicating a 
tubular structure in this organ (this gentleman's 
sketches were enclosed to the Editor with original 
query, and no doubt their accuracy would be observed). 
Will Mr. F. Jas. George say if he has detected the 
bulbous termination in all examples, or only in those 
obtained from special localities ? In some quarters the 

statement of its existence has been received somewhat 
dubiously, but this may arise from the certain fact 
that only an objective of the best defining and re- 
solving power will determine it. We (Mr. Harkus 
and I) found a Ross quarter inch, and a Swift's eighth 
to work well upon it, an immersion sixteenth had not 
sufficient penetration, but still revealed the bulbs 
coarsely. Perhaps the following observation may 
explain to your correspondent how the Euglena 
became metamorphosed into rotifers. Last autumn 
I obtained from a pond Euglena sanguined in pro- 
fusion. Griffiths and Henfrey regard this as the 
perfect form of Euglena viridis : the gathering was 
placed in a vessel covered with a sheet of glass, and 
in a few weeks assumed the still or protococcoid form, 
gradually in this interval changing in colour from 
red to green, the whole mass sunk to the bottom of 
the vessel, and during the winter continued to 
segment and increase by division, until now a portion 
lias reverted to the Euglena viridis in its motile form, 
this confirms the opinion of authorities named above. 
I can substantiate Mr. F. Jas. George's remark, 
that the place of the Euglena ' ' was taken by the 
common Funnel Rotifer." In my experiment, I find 
a fine and most interesting variety of rotifers, but 
I also invariably see the internal cavity of these 
individuals well stocked with what may be regarded 
as the zoospores, into which Euglena in its still con- 
dition segments, divides, and then breaks up. In 
fact these rotifers subsist upon Euglena. Could it be 
shown that Euglena was the larva of anything, the 
question of its animalism would of course be settled ; 
will the existence of the bulb siphon, sucker, or what- 
ever it is, assist in determining it ? — M. H. Robson, 
Newcastle-upon- Tyne. 

A New Method of Preserving Infusoria. 
— Would T. C. kindly furnish more particulars of the 
mixing solutions ? I do not understand what he means 
by chromic oxydichloride acid. Is it dichloride of 
chromium ? I have some of this in solution saturated 
and slightly acid ; but he does not state the strength 
or percentage either of this or of the permanganate 
of potash, so that I am puzzled to know how to mix 
it.— T. B. 

Microscopic Cleanliness. — Amongst the many 
difficulties with which the working microscopist is 
surrounded, none (in a small way) is more general 
and annoying than the difficulty he experiences in 
keeping his hands perfectly clean. Let him be as 
particular and careful as he may, stains of balsam, 
pigments and varnishes, and smears of the thousand 
and one sticky and discolouring materials with which 
he has to deal will get upon his fingers, and to 
remove them he often finds to be a matter involving 
much time and trouble. Soap and water won't touch 
them, ether is expensive, and turpentine or benzole 
is dirty and offensive in smell. Mr. Archer, of 
Liverpool, has recently patented a small slab or block 



of pumice stone, the surface of which is chased into 
quadrangular facets or dice, and which has been 
christened the Patent Chequered Pumice Tablet. 
In this little article the practical microscopist will 
find a true friend. All he has to do, whilst washing 
the hands, is to use this little scrubber with its 
faceted surface well covered with soap, and he will 
find all stains and smears vanish under its action, as 
if by magic. Such, at any rate, is my experience, 
and I have been so well pleased with it that I have 
thought it worth while thus to bring it under the 
notice of my fellow-workers, in order that they may 
share the satisfaction which I have experienced from 
its use. — Dr. M. 

Another Method of Staining Microscopical 
Specimens. — Dr. G. Brosicke, of Berlin, recom- 
mends a combination of osmic acid and oxalic acid 
for staining the tissues, instead of osmic acid alone. 
Small pieces of the tissue, or prepared sections, are 
placed for an hour in one per cent, osmic acid solu- 
tion, and then carefully washed to remove all super- 
fluous acid. They are then immersed for twenty-four 
hours or longer in a cold saturated aqueous solution 
of oxalic acid (one to fifteen), and are ready for 
examination in water or glycerine. The result is that 
while certain substances, such as mucin, cellulose, 
starch, bacteria, the outer coat of certain fungi, &c, 
are scarcely at all coloured, other tissues, such as the 
vitreous humour, the substratum of the cornea, the 
walls of the capillaries, and various intercellular con- 
nective tissues, appear of a bright carmine ; and 
muscular fibres, tendon, hyaline cartilage, the inter- 
fibrillary substance of decalcified bone, and most of 
the tissues rich in albumen are stained a darker 
carmine. The grey substance of the central nervous 
system, most nuclei, and many cells assume a dark 
Burgundy red tint. In all these cases, however, each 
particular tissue is stained a slightly different shade, 
so that it can be readily distinguished from its neigh- 
bours. None of the objects treated by this method 
swell up, or exhibit signs of internal coagulation. 
The oxalic acid produces darker or lighter shades in 
proportion to the length of time the specimen had 
previously been immersed in osmic acid, and if the 
latter has once completely blackened the tissue, the 
oxalic acid is powerless afterwards to redden it. 
Mixed solutions of osmic and oxalic acids stain pro- 
portionally to the relative strength of each. The 
chief drawback to this method is the small penetrating 
power of osmic acid, which prevents the whole thick- 
ness of a specimen from being equally stained. 

"Centerer" for Slides.— In your September 
number, 1875, y° u inserted a sketch of my " centerer." 
As I have altered and, I believe, improved it, I enclose 
a sketch of what I now use. The shaded part is a piece 
of wood about j, inch thick, screwed on the bed, 
which is about \ inch thick ; sycamore is a good 
wood for it. I use a piece of paper about 2 inches 

long, and can thus have two different-sized holes 
punched, which I place under the centre of the 
slip. Under this I have a similar piece with two 
colours on each side, so that I can use either. I find 
black, white, blue, and red useful. The advantages 

Fig. 134.— Improved Centerer for Slides. 
of these alterations are that from the narrow neck 
and the shortness of the paper the glass is more easily 
handled, whilst we have more varieties on the same 
paper of colours or holes. I use a round button, 
putting the screw about ^ inch from the centre.— 
W. Locock, Clifton. 

Lead Cells.— Mr. M. A. Veeder, of Lyons, New 
York, recommends cells made from the thin sheets 
of lead with which tea boxes are usually lined. The 
depth of the cell may be increased, by placing several 
lead rings one upon another. Shallow cells may be 
formed with the greatest ease in this manner. 


Mistakes of Instinct. — As a contribution to 
this subject, I may mention a failure of instinct in 
Anthocharis Carda/nines, which has just come under 
my observation. I always find the eggs here laid on 
Cardamine pratensis, and always on the pedicel of the 
flower. When the flower-bud is very small, it is 
almost sessile ; but still the egg will be found so 
placed as to avoid the floral envelopes, which being 
very caducous will have fallen before the egg is 
hatched, while it is the growing seed-pod which the 
young larva wants to get at. I had some A. Car da- 
mines this year which were bred and laid eggs in a 
gauze cage upon cut flowers of Cardamine, and in 
one instance the egg was deposited upon the sepal of 
the flower, where in the natural course of things it 
must have perished. — J. A. Osborne, M.D., Mil/ord, 

f Simulation of Death by Insects. — In an 
interesting paper read not long ago before the Ento- 
mological Society, the simulation of death so frequently 
observed among insects was regarded not as an in- 
tentional stratagem to escape danger, but as a species 
of catalepsy due to terror, and was, if I mistake not, 
compared to the so-called fascination which certain 
birds and small mammals experience in presence of a 
serpent. It seems to me that the tendency to such 
simulation in different species is, roughly speaking, 



inversely as their locomotive powers. Thus as far as 
the true insects are concerned, shamming death is 
most common among the Coleoptera, the order 
whose locomotive faculties are upon the whole lowest. 
Looking again at the different groups of Coleoptera, 
we find the tendency to simulate death absent, or at 
least very rare, among the tiger-beetles, carabs, and the 
Geodephaga generally ; among the long-horns, which, 
when alarmed, rise in the air almost as readily as do 
bees or Diptera ; among the Staphylini, which both 
fly, run, and fight well, and among the Elateridse, 
which escape danger by a sudden leap. On the 
other hand, the semblance of death is often put on by 
the Lamellicornes, which are slow crawlers, blunder- 
ing flyers, and are incapable of taking wing without 
some time for preparation. All these properties are 
still more decided in the genus Byrrhus, and here 
accordingly we find simulation at its height. At the 
mere sound or vibration caused by an approaching 
footstep, human or brute, a Byrrhus draws in its legs 
and assumes very effectively the appearance of a small 
stone or rounded clod of earth. Has a Byrrhus ever 
been taken on the wing, or recognised when flying ? 
Among spiders the same distinction may be traced. 
The slower and more sedentary forms, if in presence 
of a powerful enemy, roll themselves up in a ball, and 
may easily pass unobserved. On the contrary, the 
wandering ground spiders, such as the Lycosse, which 
in warm weather bound with such rapidity that they 
are sometimes by careless observers supposed to fly, 
rarely resort to this stratagem except when very 
persistently teased and intercepted. — C. R. Slater. 

Pearls in Pecten maximus. — Lately my friend, 
the Rev. H. F. Edge, was indulging in a dish of 
scallops, when he found something which he con- 
sidered extraneous and improper in his food, but 
which on examination proved to be two perfectly 
spherical pearls, one considerably larger than the 
other, in fact as large as a small green pea, the other 
smaller, in colour milky white, similar to what I 
have from Ostrea ediriis. Never remembering to 
have met with a similar case in Pecten maximus, 
nor of the circumstance being mentioned in Jeffrey's 
"British Conchology," I thought it would be of 
interest to Science-Gossip. — John E. Daniel, 6 The 
Terrace, Epsom. 

Helix lapicida, var. minor. — My young friends, 
the Misses, are again to the fore ; they were anxious 
to find Helix lapicida; they were successful, and more 
than so, for they brought me a number of the variety 
H. I. minor. Personally I do not remember having 
ever seen it before. The type, as most of your 
readers are aware, is, although not rare, very local. 
The locality is a wall in Downside, Epsom. I have 
no doubt they would gladly supply other collectors 
in exchange for other British land and fresh-water 
shells. — John E. Daniel, 6 The Terrace, Epsom. 

Capros aper, or Boar-fish. — In last month's 
number of Science-Gossip you have a record of 
specimens of Capros aper having been taken at Exmouth 
and Swanage, and I can now add to these Eastbourne, 
as two of my children found a fine specimen about 
5f inches in length, on the beach close to the town, 
which was alive when caught, and retained its 
brilliancy of colour until put in spirits on the following 
Monday. I believe it is the first time it has occurred 
here. — F. C. S. Roper, F.L.S. &>c, Eastbourne. 

Boar-fishes at the Brighton Aquarium. — 
Perhaps the following brief notes on the boar-fish 
{Capros aper) may interest some of the readers of 
Science-Gossip, as the subject has recently attracted 
attention in your columns. Its occurrence in the 
British Channel seems to be hardly so rare an event 
as supposed by your correspondent in the May number. 
In vol. ii. of Dr. Giinther's "Catalogue of the 
Acanthopterygian Fishes in the British Museum," the 
Mediterranean is given as the usual habitat of the 
boar-fish, which is further stated to occur occasionally 
off Weymouth, Plymouth, and Brighton, and more 
rarely on the Irish coast. Its appearance on the 
Sussex coast is noted in Mrs. Merrifield's "Natural 
History of Brighton," and I believe Dr. A. Giinther, 
F.R.S., caught the first specimen obtained off that 
town. There are at present two healthy boar-fishes 
in the Brighton Aquarium, captured about a month 
ago. In the summer months, the tank generally 
occupied by several beautiful specimens of varieties of 
the wrasse is rendered additionally attractive by the 
presence of this pretty little bright-coloured genus, 
which is by no means a bad show fish, despite an 
occasional preference for rocky corners. Its habits 
seem to resemble those of the dorys (Zeus), for, like 
them, it often remains nearly motionless in the water 
about halfway from the surface, and swims in the 
same stately manner. The boar-fishes once acclima- 
tised are tolerably hardy in captivity, thriving well 
on a shrimp diet, but, as might be expected, they are 
very sensible to cold. They seem to have been more 
than usually plentiful this season, for Mr. Lawler, the 
curator of the Aquarium, informs me that twenty were 
caught together a short time back. The occurrence 
of the "poisson sanglier," according to M. Eugene 
Deslongchamps, is a much rarer event on the 
Normandy coast. — Agnes Crane, Brighton. 

"A Wonderful Discovery." — Under this title, 
the " Brisbane Courier " published a long and 
matter-of-fact-looking account of suspended anima- 
tion, which has been republished in the English 
newspapers, and given rise to no small amount of 
comment. The "Courier" now acknowledges it 
has been the victim of a hoax, and all those people 
who have been contending for the possibility of sus- 
pending animation for months and years at will have 
been " sold." 



Plates of Birds' Eggs. — An excellent coloured 
plate (27 inches by 16 inches, on sheet 29 by 21 
inches) of European birds' eggs is published by 
Bouasse-Lebel, 29 Rue St. Sulpice, Paris, at two 
and a half francs. It contains 184 figures, natural 
sizes. Any French bookseller would supply it in 
London for about half-a-crown. The plate in question 
is No. 141 of the " Tableaux Synoptiques." The 
series comprises nearly 200 plates illustrative of almost 
every branch of scientific, mechanical, historical, 
social and domestic inquiry — which, so far as I know, 
are not equalled for quality and price. — R. T. Lciois. 

Birds singing at Night. — On Monday, May 13, 
I heard several birds singing in the park here as late 
as half-past ten, the night being quite dark. On 
Tuesday, May 14, I also heard one or two about the 
same time. As there were (on the first night) several 
singing, I was unable to distinguish any but the 
thrush.— F. W. J., Reigatc. 

Birds singing at Night. — Having seen several 
notices of birds singing at night in Science-Gossip, 
I thought this might be worth mentioning. While 
staying at Maidstone last month (May), I heard a 
cuckoo distinctly at about 10.30 or 11 p.m. ; the night 
was fine, and the nightingales were singing loudly. — 
J. M. Ward. 

Birds of India. — At a recent meeting of the 
Zoological Society, the secretary exhibited and made 
remarks upon two volumes of original drawings of 
the birds in India, which had been deposited in 
the Society's library by Brigadier-General A. C. 
McMaster. The volumes contained about 270 
figures of the birds of India, most of which had been 
drawn by soldiers in General McMaster's house at 

"Nature cared for, and Nature uncared 
for," is the title of a shilling pamphlet published 
by West, Newman, & Co., London. It is in reality 
a lecture by Mr. H. B. Hewetson, M.R.C.S., on 
" Ornithology," and is a thoughtful and reverent and 
well-expressed series of utterances on the mode in 
which natural phenomena impress the hearts of 
men. We have much enjoyed its perusal, although 
we do not always commit ourselves to the opinions 
of the author. 

The Great Atlas Moth. — We have received a 
copy of a monograph by P. H. Gosse, F.R.S., on 
the " Life-History of the Great Atlas Moth of Asia" 
(Attaais Atlas, Linn.), the largest known species of 
Lepidoptera, containing a beautifully finished coloured 
plate of its transformation. The work is published 
by West, Newman, & Co., London. The monograph 
is a careful study of the moth from specimens 
reared by Mr. Gosse from the egg to the adult 

The teaching of Natural History. — In a 
recent address Mr. Gladstone spoke as follows in 

favour of natural history teaching in schools : — I can- 
not help saying one word upon that subject which I 
think, on the whole, has been worse used in the 
schools of this country than all the other branches of 
knowledge. I mean that which is called Natural 
History. I speak of natural history, such as is open 
to you both by the study and by the observation of 
living objects and of dead objects in nature, such as 
continually come around and solicit your attention. 
I do not myself believe that natural history has had 
quite fair play, and I have always felt it most grievous 
among the many blanks of our early training that we 
were totally ignorant of it. I will just give you these 
four points in connection with natural history. In 
the first place, it is a continual lesson — a lesson at 
once easy and profound — of the wisdom and bene- 
ficence of Providence, a continual confirmation and 
belief, when you find the wonderful hand of that 
Workman descending to the smallest objects with 
the same care with which He mounts to the greatest. 
The religious use of natural history is one that all 
must delight in. The next point is this. Learning 
is an admirable thing, but it does not always make 
itself agreeable at the first introduction, at least that 
was my experience ; I don't know whether it is yours. 
Much has been done, I believe, to improve these 
initial stages. It certainly is a marked advantage in 
the study of natural history that it leads you on by 
the hand ; it inveigles you, if I may say so, into 
learning what is good and what is useful. Many a 
one might have his mind first opened to the attractions 
of natural history, which mind, if once opened, might 
perhaps be capable of applying itself beneficially to 
harder and more repulsive studies. Another point is 
this, natural history is one of the best and most 
efficient means for the education of the senses. Some 
may perhaps tell us that our senses are educated well 
enough already, and claim quite large enough a 
portion of our existence. Of course that is perfectly 
true so far as the grosser forms of enjoyment are 
concerned ; but so far as the senses are concerned as 
organs for the acquisition of knowledge, they are 
very indifferently educated indeed. This habit of 
minute, careful, and accurate observation, which is 
inseparable from natural history studies, gives to the 
senses that habit of accurate distinction which is 
invaluable as an assistant in the pursuit of every 
branch of knowledge. Lastly, let me say that these 
analogies of natural history are invaluable ; they 
have a most gracious effect in developing the finer 
faculties of the mind ; they establish a connection 
between the different portions of creation. 

How to establish a Rookery. — We wish to 
establish a rookery in the churchyard garden of St. 
John's, Waterloo Road, Lambeth. Will any of 
your readers kindly assist us by telling us the best 
plan to pursue ? — Arthur J. Robinson. 




The Pre-Cambrian Rocks of Caernarvon.— 
A paper on this subject lias just been read by Professor 
T. M 'Kenny Hughes, in which the author divides 
these rocks into (1) the volcanic series, (2) the felsitic 
series, (3) the granitoid series. He traces the former 
of these, consisting of coarser and finer varieties, from 
Caernarvon to near Port Dinorwig. Beyond these 
comes the felsite series, which is overlapped by grits 
and conglomerates as far as the Bangor road, north- 
east ofBrithdir. Above the latter comes the "volcanic 
series," well developed in the neighbourhood of 
Bangor. The author is of opinion that the Cambrian 
conglomerate, with associated grits, may be traced in 
the edge of the older massif from Twt Hill, Caer- 
narvon, to Garth Point, Bangor, and that the beds in 
each of these places and near Brithdir, recently de- 
scribed as separate, are identical ; also that the bed 
with purple fragments near Tairffynnon and the 
Bangor Poorhouse are only Cambrian conglomerate 
faulted down. Further, he considers that the strata 
of the above three series are fairly parallel throughout, 
and that they only form three subdivisions of one 
great series. 

The Geological Society. — The following were 
among papers recently read at the monthly meeting : 
" On a fossil Squilla from the London Clay of High- 
gate, part of the Wetherell Collection in the British 
Museum." ByH. Woodward, LL.D., F.R.S., F.G.S. 
The specimen described is preserved, as usual, in a 
phosphatic nodule, and exhibits five well-preserved 
abdominal segments (xiv.-xvm.), a portion of the 
carapace, traces of the thoracic appendages, and the 
appendages of the twentieth segment preceding the 
telson. The abdominal segments increase in breadth 
posteriorly as in modern Squillse. The species is most 
nearly allied to a recent Australian Squilla (unnamed) 
related to S. Desmarcstii. The author proposed the 
name of Squilla Wetheretti for the London-clay fossil. 

" On A T ecroscilla Wilsoni, a supposed Stomatopod 
Crustacean from the Middle Coal-measures, Cossall, 
near Ilkeston, Derbyshire." By H. Woodward, Esq., 
LL.D., F.R.S., F.G.S. The specimen described was 
found by Mr. E. Wilson, of Nottingham, in a nodule 
of clay-ironstone. It consists of the four posterior 
abdominal somites and the telson. The author dis- 
cussed its zoological characters, which led him to 
regard it as approaching the Stomatopoda rather 
than the Isopoda. He thought it probable that Dr. 
Dawson's Diplostylus is allied to this newly discovered 
form, for which he proposed the name of Necroscilla 

"On the Discovery of a fossil Squilla in the 
Cretaceous Deposits of Hakel, in the Lebanon." By 
H. Woodward, LL.D., F.R.S., F.G.S. This fossil 
Squilla occurs in a collection, chiefly consisting of 

fossil-fish, but also including several Crustacea and 
some beautifully preserved Cephalopods, obtained in 
the Lebanon by Professor E. R. Lewis, of Beirut. 
The specimens are in a compact cream-coloured lime- 
stone, most of the slabs of which contain examples of 
Clupea brcvissima and C. Bottcv, fragments of Eury- 
pholis Boissieri, and other fishes. Like the London- 
clay form, the species seems to be most nearly allied 
to the Australian species collected by Professor Jukes, 
and the segments are not ornamented with spines and 
ridges. The author proposed for it the name of 
Squilla Lewisii. 

"On the Occurrence of a Fossil King-Crab 
(Limulus) in the Cretaceous Formation of the 
Lebanon." By H. Woodward, LL.D., F.R.S., 
F.G.S. This was another of Professor Lewis's 
discoveries, and was of much interest as helping to 
bridge over the interval between the Jurassic Limuli 
of Solenhofen and those now living. The author 
described the characters presented by the single 
specimen, for which he proposed the name of Limulus 

Gigantic Reptiles of Colorado. — Professor 
Cope describes the bones of a species of Camarasaurus, 
which he says represent a most gigantic animal. The 
transverse diameter of the neck vertebra; is fifty-six 
inches, and the diameter of the distal end of the 
femur is twenty-one inches. This reptile is found in 
the Oolitic formation of Colorado. 

The Midland Union of Natural History 
Society, held their second meeting at Leicester, on 
May the 20th and 21st, and the proceedings were of 
a most satisfactory character. The societies in the 
union number about 3000 members. An address was 
delivered by Mr. George Stevenson ; field excursions 
were conducted under the able leadership of Mr. W. J. 
Harrison, F.G.S., the energetic curator of Leicester 
Museum, and Mr. F. J. Mott ; and conversaziones 
were held in the evenings. Next year the annual 
gathering will take place at Northampton. 

Remains of Iguanodon in the Kimmeridge 
Clay. — Professor Prestwich has just described the 
occurrence of part of the skeleton of an Iguanodon 
found in the Kimmeridge clay near Oxford. The 
remains are evidently those of a young animal. The 
occurrence in this stratum proves that the Iguanodon 
was not confined to the lower Cretaceous and Wealden 
period as has been supposed, but that it existed 
during Oolitic times. 

The Physical History of the English Lake 
District. — When the fittest man can be got to do 
required work, the result must be satisfactory. The 
Rev. J. Clifton-Ward, F.G.S., has just concluded a 
series of articles on the above subject in the "Geo- 
logical Magazine," and they unquestionably form the 
best geological history of the Lake District which has 
yet been written. 



The Geology of Northumberland. — Pro- 
fessor Lebour, F.G.S., of the College of Physical 
Science, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, has prepared an ex- 
cellent geological map of the county of Northumber- 
land, which is published by Andrew Reid, Newcastle. 
This map will be of great service to geological students. 

The Royal School of Mines. — The appoint- 
ment of Professor F. W. Rudler, of the University 
College of Wales, to be curator of the Museum of 
Practical Geology, and registrar of the Royal School 
of Mines, Jermyn Street, in succession to the late 
Mr. Trenham Reeks, will give great satisfaction to 
all geologists throughout the United Kingdom. 

Underground Geology. — In a deep well-boring 
at Ware, Plerts, the chalk and the gault were passed 
through, but the lower greensand was absent, and 
the boring tool at once struck upon upper Silurian 
rocks, lying at an angle of forty degrees, although 
unfortunately the direction of the dip is unknown. 
These rocks were found to be rich in characteristic 
fossils, twenty-eight species of which have been 
properly catalogued. 


Orchis Morio. — In an upland meadow in South 
Beds, I have just obtained about a dozen spikes of this 
Orchis, showing every gradation of colour, from dark 
purple, through various shades of red and pink, to a 
pure white, with the exception of the characteristic 
green lines on the side sepals. The higher the 
general hue, the brighter was the green of these lines. 
The pollinia also varied with the colour of the flower. 
Those in the darkest varieties were tinged with 
purple, and those in the white one were a rich golden 
yellow. Very few insects had apparently visited 
these flowers, for in most of the spikes none of the 
pollinia had been removed, in others only two or 
three, and in no case were both removed from the 
same blossom. The visits of insects may have been 
prevented by the excessive rains of the last few days. 
— y. Saunders, Lnton. 

Nutrition in relation to Flowers.— At 
a recent meeting of the Linnean Society, a paper 
by Mr. Thomas Meehan, the well-known American 
botanist, was read, in which the author's observations 
on Wistaria sinensis, W.frntescens, Catalpa syringes- 
folia, and Limina perenne were given. Mr. Meehan 
thinks that the struggle for power between the vege- 
tative and the reproductive forces decides fertility, 
and suggests that the perfection of the polliniferous 
organs, and the consequent potency of pollen, is 
dependent on phases of nutrition involved in this 
struggle. Thus, in the above mentioned plants, it is 
seen that potency in pollen, the main element in 
reproductive force, operates only when there has been 
some check given to the force of vegetative growths. 

Insects destroyed by Flowers. — At a recent 
meeting of the Entomological Society, Mr. J. M. Slater 
sent a short paper on the above subject, in which he 
stated that, whilst it is generally admitted that the 
gay colours of flowers are mainly subservient to the 
purpose of attracting bees and other winged insects, 
whose visits play so important a part in the process 
of fertilisation, one important fact had scarcely received 
due attention. Certain gay-coloured or conspicuous 
flowers are avoided by bees, or, if visited, have an 
injurious and even fatal effect upon the insects. 
Among these are the dahlia, passion-flower, crown- 
imperial, and especially the oleander. That the 
flowers of the dahlia have a narcotic effect, was first 
pointed out by the Rev. L. Jenyns, who mentions 
that bees which visit these flowers are soon seized 
with a sort of torpor, and often die unless speedily 
removed. Mr. Jenyns also quotes a writer in the 
"Gardener's Chronicle," who pronounces the culti- 
vation of the dahlia incompatible with the success of 
the bee-keeper. The passion-flower also stultifies 
bees, and bees of all kinds avoid the crown-imperial 
and the oleander, for the honey of the latter is fatal 
to flies. Mr. Slater did not remember ever seeing a 
butterfly or moth settling on the flowers of this shrub 
in Hungary and Dalmatia, and he thinks it important 
that observers should ascertain whether the above- 
mentioned phenomena be true, and, whether any 
insects in such cases undertake the functions generally 
exercised by bees, and whether flowers have a simi- 
larly noxious or deadly action upon insects. 


Slow Worm. — Mr. E. D. Marquand in his interest- 
ing article on "The New Forest," mentions "a 
bright reddish-purple variety" of the slow worm. A 
few particulars respecting this variety as to its rarity 
or otherwise, whether found in any other locality, 
&c, would, I think, be interesting toother readers of 
Science-Gossip as well as for myself. No mention 
is made of it by Bell in his work on British reptiles. 
Has Mr. Marquand met with Coluber (or Coronella) 
Levis ? I find the New Forest mentioned as one of 
its localities in the volume of Science-Gossip for 
1872.— IV. G. TuxforJ. 

Cat rearing a Rat. — Even a more extraordinary 
thing than a cat bringing up rabbits, is the following 
case of a cat taking care of a rat for a month, when 
the rat escaped. Last summer, a cat, a famous 
hunter, was kept in a grocer's shop in Helensburgh. 
She had a litter of kittens, of which three or four 
were drowned. A day or two after this the cat came 
upon a nest of young rats, six of which she killed, while 
she carried off two, and put them in a basket beside her 
remaining kittens. Her owner then put the kittens and 
rats in a long barrel to prevent their getting out. For a 
fortnight or so they all lived happily together, the 
rats getting no food, so they must have been suckled 
by the cat. One of the rats being a weakly one was 
overlaid. A shopman took the remaining rat out of 
the barrel when it ran away, but the cat found it, 
and took it back to the barrel. Getting annoyed by 
people who came to inspect the happy family, the cat 



moved them all, rat included, to a corner of the shop, 
and a board was put up to keep them in. The rat 
several times tried to escape by either climbing over 
or making holes in the board. One night after it had 
been about a month under the care of its natural 
enemy, a piece of curtain having been left hanging 
over the board, the rat which had now grown pretty 
large escaped, and was never seen again. I pass 
through Helensburgh nearly every day, and saw the 
rat lying in the nest with the kittens. — E. L. F. 

Under what Circumstances is the Yew 
Poisonous to Horses and Cows? — In my garden 
there are some yew-trees, planted forty or fifty years 
ago, which hang over a wall into an adjoining yard, 
where van-horses have constantly been in the habit of 
standing while the vans were loaded and unloaded, 
and I have never known any of the horses to have 
suffered. There is also in a park in this neighbour- 
hood a long row of yew-trees exposed to the deer, 
cows, and horses, which graze there, but I have never 
heard of any harm having resulted. On the other 
hand, I understand that in a gentleman's grounds near 
here, two valuable cows last year got access to, and 
ate some cut branches of yew, and died in consequence ; 
and I am told that in the case of a horse which died 
from eating yew, a post mortem examination shewed 
that death resulted from irritation of the intestines, 
caused by the sharp prickly points of the leaves, rather 
than from any poisonous property in their juices. I 
shall be much obliged by any information on the 
subject. — T. If. G., Kettering. 

The Natterjack Toad. — I am glad to hear from 
Mr. J. Campbell in your issue of January, that the 
malodorous charge against our little friend, the 
natterjack, is a calumny. I was deterred from trying 
to obtain a specimen on account of what I had read. 
Mr. M. C. Cooke gives him a bad character in his 
book on " British Reptiles," and the late Mr. Harland 
Coultas in a work entitled " The Home Naturalist" 
says, " When pursued, the cross (or natterjack) toad 
draws itself together, so that the glands of its skin 
empty themselves, and its body becomes covered 
with a whitish moisture, giving out an intolerable 
stench which has been aptly compared to the smell 
of an old tobacco pipe ; this is undoubtedly a means 
of defence with which the animal has been provided 
by the Creator." No wonder then after reading this 
description of the reptile, I did not attempt to obtain 
a specimen, but addressed a query to the editor, who 
transferred the question to the Notes and Queries 
column, where a reply appeared from Mr. W. R. 
Tate to the effect that the reptile gave off a strong 
sulphurous scent when frightened. Mr. Campbell's 
experience of the animal is still more favourable, 
which would lead one to suppose that some only are 
able to give off this smell, whilst others do not possess 
the power to do so. I beg to thank Mr. Tate and 
Mr. Campbell for their kindness in answering my 
question, and as the latter gentleman has actually 
kept the animal, he would greatly add to his kindness 
if he could give me some particulars with regard to 
its food, &c. As very little seems to be known about 
this species of toad, such information would, I think, 
be of general interest. — j. Perrycap. 

Dogs affected by Sound of Music. — A black- 
and-tan terrier that we kept for some time was par- 
ticularly sensitive to music. Although scales played 
on the piano made her yell piteously it was by the 
concertina's sweet influences that she was most affected, 
flying before it and if unable to leave the room, whin- 
ing until the tune was stopped. A Spitzbergen dog- 
friend of ours is much excited by music, but when 

I one tune is played its excitement is more marked — the 

' tune is " Bonny Dundee." Dogs are not peculiar in 

J their feeling for music, witness the fact that retired 

j cavalry horses obey the call of the bugle when acci- 

: dentally heard.— C. J. W. 

Blackcap in December. — On December 17 last 
I was surprised and interested by seeing a blackcap 
busily engaged searching for insects among the 
bare branches of a vine trained against my house. 
There had been a hard, I should say unusually 
severe, frost for more than a week, and many even 
of our winter birds seemed to be pinched and sadly 
in want of food. The frost was then beginning to 
give, but I little expected to see so thoroughly a 
summer visitant able to endure such unusually wintry 
weather. I watched it for some minutes, and, as it 
was not three yards from my face, I had no doubt 
of its being a veritable blackcap. During the months 
of November and December last a hawfinch was 
seen nearly every day upon my lawn. — IT. M. M., 
Badgworth, Weston-super-Mare. 

Cornus sanguinea. — I think it is not unusual for 
this plant to flower in autumn. I noticed one of our 
hedges quite gay with its blossoms at that season in 
last year. — J. M., Neio Brompton, Kent. 

Tea Stains. — Can you tell me why tea produces a 
blue stain when coming in contact with steel ? A 
little black tea dropped from the tea-pot on a table- 
knife has this effect.— R. H. N. B. 

Nuthatch. — I observed on Friday, March 28, a 
Nuthatch (Sitta enropiea) on Barnes Common. Is 
this not rather a rare bird so near London ? — E. V. 
Seebohm, A r assau School, Barnes, S. W. 

Parrots and their Eggs. — The note in May 
number on this subject has attracted the attention of 
a gentleman resident in this neighbourhood, whose 
parrakeet has lately laid three eggs, with an interval 
of a day or two between each laying — the dates 
of the events being April 18, 21, 25, of this present 
year. Thinking that possibly some Manchester 
naturalists might be glad to see them, he has kindly 
placed them in my hands to show. — E. Ward, 29 Bur- 
lington Street, Manchester. 

Intelligence of Animals. — A very worthy and 
candid old clergyman of my acquaintance used to tell 
the following story about some sagacious little dogs 
of his, in proof, as he was wont to admit, that 
"they knew, better than himself, how to observe 
Sunday." In the doctrine of his life he was in the 
habit of taking a constitutional ride daily ; but on 
Sundays, when he went to perform the service in a 
neighbouring church, his little dogs, who were his 
faithful companions on the other days of the week, 
were not allowed to accompany him. On one 
special Sunday, having a clerical son staying with 
him, he gave himself a holiday, and instead of going 
to serve his church, indulged himself with his ordi- 
nary ride. No invitations, however, could persuade 
the little dogs to go with him. In vain he called ; in 
vain he whistled. They would not break through 
their good habits, at the cost probably of some little 
self-denial, and in defiance of the lax example of their 
master. — C. W. Bingham. 

Instinct or Reason. — I am not a little sur- 
prised that so many of your correspondents question 
the reasoning powers of animals, or treat as a moot 
point that on which nearly all the best authorities are 
agreed. In Professor Huxley's admirable little volume 
on Hume, recently published, we find the following : 
" We must admit that Hume does not express him- 
self too strongly when he says, ' no truth appears to 



me more evident than that the beasts are endowed 
with thought and reason as well as men. The argu- 
ments are in this case so obvious, that they never escape 
the most stupid and ignorant.' In fact this is one of 
the few cases in which the conviction which forces 
itself upon the stupid and the ignorant, is fortified 
by the reasonings of the intelligent, and has its 
foundation deepened by every increase of knowledge." 
(Huxley's " Hume," p. 104.) From the same 
volume I must quote another very amusing and 
suggestive passage. "One of the most curious 
peculiarities of the dog mind is its inherent snobbish- 
ness, shown by the regard paid to external respect- 
ability. The dog who barks furiously at a beggar 
will let a well-dressed man pass him without opposi- 
tion. Has he not then a ' generic idea ' of rags and 
dirt associated with the idea of aversion, and that of 
sleek broadcloth associated with the idea of liking ? " 
(Ibid. p. 106.) Probably this trait of canine character 
has struck most persons who have any dog friends : 
it is very noticeable what an ineradicable hatred of 
uniforms dogs show, and very few postmen of any 
ength of service can be found who will not testify 
to the doggish detestation which is manifested 
towards them, however friendly their bearing. In 
this connection it is interesting to notice how Miss 
Cobbe finds elevation of character where Professor 
Huxley finds "snobbishness;" here is her verdict, 
" A clever dog is one of the best discriminators of 
character in the world. He distinguishes at a glance 
a tramp or swell-mobsman from a gentleman, even in 
the most soiled attire. He has also a keen sense of 
the relative importance of persons, and never fails to 
know who is the master of the house." ("False 
Beasts and True," p. 158.) Although, as all the 
world knows, Miss Cobbe is an ultra-enthusiastic 
pleader for the brute-world, the little work just 
quoted from affords a storehouse of arguments for 
the existence of reason in brutes ; certainly it is 
hard to deny them this attribute when we even find 
them giving way to superstition. " Superstition, 
or the awe of the unknown, has been treated by some 
thinkers as the primary germ of religion, and by 
others, far more justly as its shadow. This shadow 
certainly falls on the dog no less than on man. 
The bravest dog will continually show signs of terror 
at the sight of an object which he does not under- 
stand, such as the skin of a dead animal, the snake of 
a hookah, a pair of bellows, or a rattle. That the 
brute fancies there is something uncanny and preter- 
natural about such things, is apparent from his 
behaviour, which in a real case of clanger is 
aggressively daring, and in that of imaginary peril 
abjectly timorous." (Ibid. p. 146.) Turn we to Mr. 
Darwin, his opinion is very clear, and will have 
with many the weight of a decision. "Of all the 
faculties of the human mind," he says, "it will, 
I presume, be admitted that reason stands at 
the summit. Only a few persons now dispute that 
animals possess some power of reasoning. Animals 
may constantly be seen to pause, deliberate, and re- 
solve. It is a significant fact that the more the habits 
of any particular animal are studied by a naturalist, 
the more he attributes to reason, and the less to un- 
learnt instincts." (" Descent of Man," 2nd ed. p. 75.) 
Does not Mr. Wheatley hit on the true distinction 
between man and the brute-world, when he assigns 
it to language ? And does not Mr. Gilliard venture 
on a very rash assertion when he says, " it is capable 
of proof that man cannot act at all intuitively ? " It 
is well known that Professor Max. Muller has urged 
with his usual eloquence that language will yet prove 
the hard and fast barrier between spirit and matter, 
between man and brute ; let us note then what he 

says on the almost settled case of Reason versus 
Instinct. "Some philosophers imagine they have 
explained everything if they ascribe to brutes instinct 
instead of intellect. But, if we take these two words 
in their usual acceptations, they surely do not exclude 
each other. There are instincts in man as well as in 
brutes. A child takes his mother's breast by instinct, 
the spider weaves his net by instinct ; the bee builds 
her cell by instinct. . . . But what if we tear a 
spider's web and see the spider examining the mis- 
chief that is clone, and either giving up his work in 
despair, or endeavouring to mend it as well as may 
be ? Surely here we have the instinct of weaving 
controlled by observation, by comparison, by reflec- 
tion, by judgment. Instinct, whether mechanical or 
moral, is more prominent in brutes than in man, but 
it exists in both, as much as intellect is shared by 
both." ("Lectures on the Science of Language," 9th ed. 
vol. i. p. 402.) Perhaps the latest and most startling 
theory, stated with a grotesque naivete which has a 
bewildering charm, is that of Mr. Samuel Butler, who, 
in his powerful book called "Life and Habit," boldly 
says that " instinct is inherited memory." It is unfair 
to tear from the texture of his ingenious argument 
and elaborate illustration isolated passages, but the 
following samples will perhaps whet the appetites of 
those interested in the subject. Touching on the 
inveteracy of habit, and the difficulty of breaking 
away from " The grey nurses Use and Wont," he 
says, " In our own case, the habit of breathing like 
a fish through gills may serve as an example. We 
have now left off this habit, yet we did it formerly, 
for so many generations, that we still do it a little, 
it still crosses our embryological existence like a faint 
memory or dream, for not easily is an inveterate 
habit broken." ("Life and Habit," p. 70.) Again, 
"The action of embryo making its way up in the 
world from a simple cell to a baby, developing for 
itself eyes, ears, hands, and feet while yet unborn, 
proves to be exactly of one and the same kind as that 
of a man of fifty who goes into the city and tells his 
broker to buy him so many Great Northern A shares." 
And this, "The duckling hatched by the hen makes 
straight for water. In what conceivable way can we 
account for this, except on the supposition that the 
duckling knows perfectly well what it can and what 
it cannot do with water, owing to its recollection of 
what it did when it was still one individuality with 
its parents, and hence when it was a duckling before." 
Taking such passages as this by themselves we might 
be tempted to doubt with the "Saturday Review," 
whether Mr. Butler was not palming off a big joke 
on the public, but carefully read, the impression is 
more likely to be that of Mr. Wallace, and this 
distinguished naturalist sees in "Life and Habit" 
much sound speculation and vital truth. — James 
Hooper, De?unark Hill, S.E. 

Intelligence in Animals. — "It is quite clear" 
(says Dr. Whately) " that if such acts were done by 
man they would be regarded as an exercise of reason, 
and I do not know why, when performed by brutes, 
evidently by a similar process, so far as can be judged, 
they should not bear the same name. To talk of 
a cat's having instinct to pull a bell when desirous of 
going out at the door .... would be to use words 
at random." And I think many would agree with 
the learned archbishop if they would carefully consider 
the testimonies and researches of such eminent 
naturalists and thinkers as Locke, the philosopher, 
Bacon and Burns, Professors Darwin, Huber, Brehm, 
Rengger, Kirby and Lord, F.Z.S., Rev. F .O. Morris, 
Lubbock, and the lately recognised genius Edward, 
of Banff, &c. As an example, of which so many can 



be adduced, let us take an incident related by Mr. 
Edward : he saw two birds vainly trying to turn over 
a large fish on the sands to get the vermin beneath ; 
after many futile attempts, extending over half an 
hour or more, and after attracting a third bird who 
helped them to no purpose, they stood together and 
apparently by their noise were engaged in some 
mysterious process of conversation and reasoning, 
they again set to work eagerly, and dug a hole in the 
sands from one side of the fish, even to undermining 
a certain distance, and then, with evident expres- 
sions of triumph, rolled it over with ease, and com- 
menced the feast they had worked for. That fish 
measured 3^ feet, being a fine cod, and those birds 
undoubtedly used their reason to elaborate a scheme 
to accomplish their object. Without running off into 
Darwinian theories, I would remind Dr. Keegan, 
seeing he lays so much stress on the capacity of the 
brain, that one of our great physiologists tells us — 
' ' That every chief fissure and fold of the brain of 
man has its analogy in that of the ourang :" and 
Huxley adds, "Whilst in those things in which the 
brains of men and apes do differ, there is also a great 
difference among various men." It is true structure is 
not all — the machinery may be perfect in every detail, 
yet, if it lack the motive power, of what avail is it ? 
Still, is it not reasonable to suppose that structure 
being so similar, God intended the ape to use his 
brain like man's, but in a less degree ? The chief 
obstacle to belief in the reasoning power of animals 
lies in the fear of what the admission may lead to, but 
surely we need not grudge to these poor brutes the 
possession of a feeble development of reason, when 
man, and man alone, can thank his Creator for giving 
him a hope of a future which no animal seems destined 
to enjoy. — yohn H. Wilson. 

Intelligence in Animals. — I heard a singular 
story of a Skye terrier, which was told me by a lady- 
friend who knows the dog well ; it was a great 
pet with its master. On one occasion its master 
brought home a puppy of another breed. On its intro- 
duction into the house, the Skye terrier appeared to 
take no notice of it whatever. After a few days the 
puppy could nowhere be found, and on making 
inquiry, the gardener said he remembered seeing the 
Skye terrier smoothing some earth down on the top 
of a rubbish heap in the garden, and on examining the 
said heap, the body of the puppy was found buried 
some depth. The Skye terrier, being jealous of the 
notice the puppy received from its master, had enticed 
the puppy to the heap, killed and then buried it. — 
Edmund Durrant. 

Sagacity of a Tree-creeper. — Anecdotes tend- 
ing to show some sort of reasoning power in the 
more sagacious quadrupeds are not uncommon, but 
the following having reference to that diminutive 
bird the common creeper ( Certhia familiaris) is in- 
teresting as proving these faculties to be possessed 
by others than dogs, horses, and animals of com- 
paratively complicated brain-structure. Within the 
last few days we have seen the nest of one of these 
creatures very snugly placed within a hole in a wall 
caused by the removal of an entire brick, the breach 
being partially and to all appearance almost entirely 
filled up by a portion of the same placed loosely in 
front. As the movements of the small parents were 
a source of interest to the proprietor, the loose piece 
had frequently been removed, and the privacy of the 
hen bird had been invaded by more than one pair of 
curious eyes, until she was so far familiarised to the 
intrusion as to remain undisturbed on her eggs while 
under inspection. Her mate, however, does not 
seem to have shared her confidence and determined 

to put an end, if possible, to these unwelcome visits. 
He would fasten the half brick as other bricks were 
fastened, and, failing mortar, placed in the crack as 
much well-kneaded clay as he could accumulate. 
This is the more remarkable as the bird uses no 
cement of any kind in making its nest. The work 
though small in extent was as well executed as though 
a swallow had been the engineer. But alas ! it was 
easily broken by human hands, and the work of the 
architect must be recommenced. I grieve to add 
that, after a second earthwork had in like manner 
been constructed, the ingenuity and perseverance of 
the bird could no longer be tried, for at this stage 
some unknown person robbed the birds of the eggs. 
J. J. Plummet: 

Can Worms crawl Backwards ? — My atten- 
tion having been drawn to this subject by a note in 
the May number of this valuable magazine, I have 
experimented with the result that they can crawl 
backwards, though very reluctantly. When experi- 
menting, I tried to make a worm crawl along a narrow 
path, and every time it turned its head from the 
straight course, I gave it a gentle reminder on the 
head with a piece of stick. After sundry knocks, it 
came to the wise conclusion that it would rather 
crawl backwards than be hit in this way. It then 
crawled backwards about three feet. I have experi- 
mented on other worms, and in different ways, always 
with the same result, viz. : that they can crawl 
backwards. — Percy A. Ramage, Stoneclough, near 

Snakes. — I caught an ordinary brown snake in 
Epping Forest lately, and as it was rather longer 
than ordinary (2 feet 6 inches) I determined to stuff 
it. As I could not get any ordinary naturalist to 
undertake it (!) I did it myself. After skinning it, I 
threw the skin into some hot water with some wash- 
ing soda in it to get off some of the fat adhering to it ; 
immediately it was immersed, all the brown scales 
changed to a bright light blue and the darker shades 
to a beautiful black. How is this to be accounted 
for 1 It was not the new skin, but a perfect change 
of colour. — y. D. Hardy, Clapton. 


To Correspondents and Exchangers. — As we now 
publish Science-Gossip a week earlier than heretofore, we 
cannot possibly insert in the following number any communi- 
cations which reach us later than the 9th of the previous 

To Anonymous Querists. — We receive so many queries 
which do not bear the writers' names that we are forced to 
adhere to our rule of not noticing them. 

To Dealers and others. — We are always glad to treat 
dealers in natural history objects on the same fair and general 
ground as amateurs, in so far as the " exchanges " offered are fair 
exchanges. But it is evident that, when their offers are simply 
disguised advertisements, for the purpose of evading the cost of 
advertising, an advantage is taken of our gratuitous insertion of 
"exchanges" which cannot be tolerated. 

G. H. Steward. — You will find an outline of all the great 
changes which our planet has experienced, physical and vital, 
in Taylor's " Geological Stories," 4th edition, published by 
Hardwicke & Bogue, 192 Piccadilly, W., price 4^. 

J. C. Glough. — Your plant is the beautiful Water avens 
(Geum rivalej. 

J. W. and others. — Egg-drills, &c, may be procured of 
Mr. R. B. Spalding, 46 High Street, Notting Hill, London, W. 

R. T. Lewis — Many thanks for your generous and prompt 

L. Hawkins. — We are always willing to assist students in 
naming specimens, and it is a genuine pleasure to do so. The 
remarks made were those of the gentleman to whom your speci- 
mens were forwarded. 



W. A. Firth. — Your seaweed is Ptilota phtmosa. 

F. H. Arnold. — We do not think it "hopeless" to secure 
you the sedges you require. 

To Botanical Exchange Club Members. — The former 
list of desiderata will remain open for the present year. 
. W. M. H. — The "knots" in the straw of wheat are the solid 
nodes which are common to all the grass family throughout the 

E. Pritchard. — Dr. Carpenter's "Animal Physiology "(last 
edition) ; Huxley & Martin's " Text-Book of Physiology ;" Dr. 
Nicholson's "Manual of Zoology;" Huxley's "Lessons in 
Elementary Physiology," and Wilson's "Zoology" (published 
by Chambers) are all good books for the object you seek. 

H. K. Moiser. — The list of desiderata for the Botanical 
Exchange Club has not been sent out this year, as it was thought 
that of last summer might stand. 

T. W. Harris. — Your shells are Clausilia rugosa. Get 
Tate's "British Mollusks," coloured illustrations, price 6s. 
London : Hardwicke & Bogue. 

J. Elkingtov. — The specimens are (i) the round sea-urchin 
(Echinus spha-ra), and (2) the purple-tipped sea-urchin (Echinus 

P. R. V. — Your flower is Fritillaria meleagris. 

J. J. T. — The only place where coralline crag fossils can be 
obtained is Orford in Suffolk. 

R. Brown. — Get Dr. Cooke's " Microscopic Fungi," published 
by Hardwicke & Bogue, with coloured plates, &c, at 6s. 

W. B. Scott (Chudleigh). — Wishes some reader of Science- 
Gossip to send him specimens of the natterjack toad and the 
crested newt ( Triton cristatus). 

B. M. W. — Your specimen is not a lichen, but the mycelia 
of a fungus which is common on the walls of wine-cellars. 

Mrs. Edwards and Rev. C. F. W. T. Williams. — Accept 
our best thanks for the botanical specimens forwarded to us. 

Mr. J. G. Osborne, who is engaged in some observations 
on the development of the embryo in invertebrate ova, wishes 
to know of some preparation which would render the structures 
more transparent, and arrest and preserve them at different 
stages (see article in our March number on " Preserving delicate 
Organisms," and paragraph in this number under head of 


Wanted, unset specimens of British Spiculiferous Hymenop- 
tera, especially the Chalcididae. Well-mounted slides of vege- 
table tissues stained in two colours, offered in exchange. — Charles 
Vance Smith, Carmarthen. 

For specimen of Periderniiwn Pini (rare in England), send 
stamped addressed envelope and object of interest to Charles 
F. W. T. Williams, 4 Darlington Place, Bathwick Hill, Bath. 

Fine American Lower Silurian and Devonian fossils, in ex- 
change for British Mesozoic fossils. — A. B. Baker, 2 College 
Ave, Rochester, New York, U.S.A. 

The " Dictionary of Mechanics " (E. H. Knight), 29 numbers 
to date, offered in exchange for 1874, 1875, and 1876 of Science- 
Gossip, or work on natural history. — R. L. Hawkins, Hastings. 

Liberal exchange in first-class objects, offered for a pure 
gathering of Volvox globator. Communicate before sending. — 
E. Wheeler, 48 Tollington Road, Holloway, N. 

Wanted, freshly-collected insects for microscopic purposes, 
in exchange for unmounted objects, curiosities, &c; four varieties, 
Japanese cloth, for one well-mounted slide, curious structure. — ■ 
Tylar, 165 Well Street, Birmingham. 

Wanted, Turton's " Linnaeus," vol. i. 1806. — W. E. Milner, 
47 Park Road, Haverstock Hill, N.W. 

Duplicate eggs of capercaille, common sandpiper, common 
snipe, blue-tailed godwit, spoonbill, heron, little bittern, moorhen, 
coot sheldrake, razor-bill, guillemot, and black-headed gull, all 
side-blown. List of what is required in exchange, will be sent 
on application to R. Davenport, 124 Georgiana Street, Bury, 

For micro slides, saloon pistol, by Hollis & Sons, with 
ammunition, new in February. — J. G. Johnson, 93 St. James' 
Street, Newport, Isle of Wight. 

British Shells. Duplicates for exchanged. List sent on 
application to J. W. Cundall, Carrville, Alexandra Park, Redland, 

Wanted, Sciopticon, or other good form of lantern, also 
Darwin's " Insectivorous Plants," loan or otherwise. Have 
many things to offer, such as micro slides, first-class, unmounted 
prepared material, mostly marine organisms in great variety. 
Marine algse for balsam or herbarium specimens, living plants, 
alpines, ferns, Drosera, &c. State wants ; will take cash or other 
exchanges.— T. McGann, Burren, Ireland. 

Want ed, Devonian corals, named or unnamed. Fossils from 
other formations given in exchange. — William Quarterman, 
2 King Street, Borough, S.E. 

Splendid specimens of Marcasite var, cockscomb, for other 
minerals (cabinet specimens) or fossils. A few fine large speci- 
mens of flexible corals (Pterogorgonia pinnata). Want fossils or 
minerals.— J. McKenzie, Nursery Cottage, Berkby, Hudders- 

For well-mounted slide, I will send diatomaceous mud from 
peat, very rich. — W. Sim, Gourdas, Fyvie, N.B. 

Live moles wanted. — J. E. Palmer, 35 James Street, Dublin. 

Good specimens (side blown) of the following eggs, in exchange 
for other good eggs or Lepidoptera. Eider duck, guillemot, 
lesser B. B. gull, herring gull, cormorant and sandwich, Arctic 
and common tern. — Adamson Rhagg, 21 Grainger Street, New- 

Pollen of Calla /Ethiopica, A7>iaryllis, &c, mounted in 
balsam. Also several hundred silkworms f .5. 7/iori), to exchange 
for algje, herbarium, zoophyte, shells, or any unmounted 
objects of interest. — Mrs. Skilton, 21 London Road, Brentford, 

[* Morris' "British Birds," and "Nests and Eggs," wanted 
in numbers. Books or cash in exchange. — G., 44 Hillmarten 
Road, Holloway, N. 

For specimen of C. hastaia (Australian zoophyte) for mount- 
ing, send well-mounted slide. Having means of sending parcels 
to, and receiving from, foreign countries free of charge, I am 
anxious for foreign correspondence. — B. B. Scott, 24 Seldon 
Street, Kensington, Liverpool. 

Verv fine slides of anchors, and plates of Synaptce Gallienica, 
selected and arranged in various symmetrical patterns, likewise 
a few diatom slides arranged in different designs, in exchange 
for really good unmounted microscopic material. Would like to 
correspond with some microscopist in the locality of Torquay, 
with a view to mutual exchanges. — W.White, 18 Convent Street, 

Nicelv-finished slide of Acilius sulcatus, dissected (several 
pieces under cover) offered for first-class slide of picked diatoms, 
or rock sections. — J. Neville, Wellington Road, Houndsworth, 

Part of a jaw of an Ichthyosaurus from Lyme Regis. Will 
take exchange in fossils. Write for particulars. — W. T. Ord, 
13 Royal Park, Clifton, Bristol. 

For /Ecidium tragopogonis (goats' beard cluster cap), send 
stamped envelope to T. Brittam, 52 Park Street, Green Heys, 
Manchester. No exchange required. 

Well-mounted slides, good unmounted material, and British 
shells, offered in exchange for shells, British and foreign, and 
books (on plants and natural history subjects preferred). — 
E. R. F., 82 Abbey Street, Kaversham. 

British Birds' Eggs. — Guillemot, razor-bill, kittiwake, 
oyster-catcher, redshank, carrion crow, magpie, red-backed 
shrike, &c, to exchange for owl, plover, tern, woodpecker, or 
any not in collection. Only side-blown eggs required. Lists 
to J. Wrangham, 93 Tyrwhitt Road, New Cross, London, S.E. 


" Outlines of Field Geology." By Professor Geikie. London : 

" Practical Photography." By O. E. Wheeler. London : 
Bazaar Office. 

" Greenhouse Flowers." Part i. 

" II Principio della Sapienza," per A. P. Mauro. Naples." 

" Proceedings of Academy of Natural Sciences." Philadelphia. 

" New Remedies," 3 and 4, vol. viii. New York. 

" Science News." New York. 

" Feuille des Jeunes Naturalistes." 

" Bulletin de la Societe Beige de Micrographie." 

" Journal of Forestry." No. 26. 

"American Naturalist." June. 

" Canadian Entomologist." June. 

" Land and Water." June. 

Natural History Rambles. 

" Lane and Field." By the Rev. J. G. Wood, M.A. 
"The Woodlands." By M. C Cooke, M.A., LL.D. 
" Lakes and Rivers." By. C O. Groom Napier, F.G.S. 
" Mountain and Moor." By J. E. Taylor, Esq., F.L.S., 

F.G.S. , Editor of Science-Gossip. 
"Underground." By J. E. Taylor, Esq., F.L.S., F.G.S., 

Editor of Science-Gossip. 
"The Sea-shore." By Professor P. Martin Duncan, M.B. 

(London), F.R.S. 
Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge 77 Great Queen 
Street, London. 

&c. &c. &c. 

Communications received up to ioth ult. from :— 
T. W. D.-G. C. D.— E. E. E.— J. W., jun.— J. O. B.— Dr. 
P. Q. K.— F. I. G.— J. H. W.— W. L.— J. D.— W. R.— J. H. 
— W.T.-A. C— E. D.-C. R. S— F. W. R.-G. H. S.-C. B. 
_ E w.— J. G. B.— J. G. D.— A. B. B.— H. R. M.— G. C— 
j. w. T.— Dr. J. A. O.— P. A. R.— E. M— W. B. S.— A. J. R. 
—I. C. T.-R. L. H.— H. M.—J. J. P.-W. W.— J. H. A. J.— 
A. W.— E. V. S.— J. D. H.-F. W. I.— W. M. T— J. C. C— 
G. D. S— J. W.— T. B.— J. H.— A. H. H.— W. E. M.— 
R.T. L.-J.R H.— A. T.-S. B — J. G. J.-R. S. G.— R. D.— 
M. H. R.-A. W— H. D. B.— T. McG.— J. W. C— G. O. H. 
— R. L. H.-L. C.-W. A. F.— J. N.-W. T. O.-W. W.— 
W. H. G.— B. B. S — W. S— B. M. W.-W. W. T— M. S.— 
A. R.-G. S. D.— J. M. W— J. E. P.— J. S.- J. McK.-J.W. S. 
— W. Q— T. B.— F. H. A.— Dr. M.— W. B.— E.P.— K. M. J.— 
E. R. F.— J. C, jun.— F. W. H— &c. 




By T. V. HOLMES, F.G.S., H.M.'s Geological Survey. 

HEFFIELD is se- 
lected this year as 
the meeting- place 
of the British 
Association, and 
as geological 
excursions always 
form one of the 
pleasantest parts 
of the Associa- 
tion's programme 
to the majority of 
members, the fol- 
lowing notes on 
the geology of 
the district may 
possibly be of 

It is true that 
the recently-pub- 
lished Memoir of 
the Geological Survey on the Yorkshire coalfield 
leaves little to be desired by the mining engineer or 
colliery proprietor, to whom full and accurate informa- 
tion on all points connected with the coalfield is the 
one thing needed. But its size and price must ever 
deter persons simply desirous of making the most of 
their week at Sheffield with the British Association 
from attempting to acquire information from such a 
source. In addition, the geology of the Ordnance 
quarter sheet (82 N.W.) in which Sheffield stands, is 
not explained in a brief memoir of thirty or forty 
pages, on account of the Derbyshire part of it not 
having yet been mapped by the Ordnance Survey on 
the scale of six inches to a mile. 

A glance at a general geological map of England 
and Wales, such as that of Professor Ramsay, shows 
Sheffield standing not far from the centre of the great 
Yorkshire and Derbyshire coalfield. This coalfield, 
measured along a line ranging north and south from a 
point about ten miles west of Nottingham to the eastern 
suburbs of Leeds, is about sixty-five miles in length. 
Its breadth at the northern end, immediately south of 
No. 176. 

Leeds and Bradford, is twenty-one or twenty-two 
miles. It gradually narrows southward, being at 
Sheffield about thirteen miles wide (due east and west), 
and varying in Derbyshire from seven to ten miles. 
On its eastern margin it is overlaid unconformably by 
the magnesian limestone (Permian). On the west the 
coal measures rest on the series of thick coarse sand- 
stone with interbedded shales, and occasionally a 
thin coal, known collectively as millstone grit. 
This millstone grit forms the high bare moorland 
which, from the Peak of Derbyshire northward, divides 
the coalfields of Yorkshire and Lancashire. South of 
the Peak the underlying Yoredale beds and carboni- 
ferous limestone are exposed, but too far from 
Sheffield to come within the scope of this paper. The 
five great sandstones of the millstone grit here- 
abouts are : the first (or highest) grit, or rough 
rock ; the second, third, fourth, and fifth grits ; the 
two last being also called the upper and lower 
Kinderscout grits. The coal measures are divided 
into the lower coal measures, or beds below the 
Silkstone coal, and the middle coal measures, which 
include almost all the coals of any importance. In 
addition may be mentioned the only rocks classed as 
upper coal measures, the red beds with coal plants 
seen at Conisborough Pottery. Most of the upper 
coal measures were removed from the coalfield by 
denudation, previous to the unconformable deposition 
of the magnesian limestone above the carboniferous 

The lower coal measures are more remarkable for 
massive sandstones forming well-marked escarpments 
than for coals. Few of the coals are of more than 
local importance. The Ganister and Whinmoor coals 
are the only ones of this series worthy of notice about 
Sheffield. In the middle coal measures the Silkstone 
coal, the lowest of the important beds, is perhaps 
the first in point of reputation, the Barnsley coal 
being held in little less esteem. Other coals exist, 
between these two and above the Barnsley, of fair 
thickness and quality, but they are not worked in 
this locality, from their inability to compete with the 
Silkstone and Barnsley seams, which have no rivals 




about Sheffield and Barnsley. Coals with other 
names, and on different horizons, are worked about 
Wakefield and Leeds, Halifax and Bradford. 

Then, above these measures rich in coal, we have, 
towards the upper or eastern boundary of the coalfield, 
a series of measures with few coals and few thick 
or massive sandstones. The escarpments made by the 
sandstones in this part of the coal measures are, 
consequently, usually feeble and indefinite, giving 
rise to a slightly undulating country in which no beds 
are traceable for more than a short distance. Two 
rocks, however, are not without a perceptible in- 
fluence on the landscape east of Sheffield, and are 
also largely quarried. These are the Wickersley 
Rock, much used for grindstones, and the red rock of 
Rotherham. The last is a sandstone of Carboniferous, 
and not, as used to be supposed, of Permian age, 
which rests unconformably on the beds below, and is 
altogether perhaps the most singular geological phe- 
nomenon in the district. A more detailed account 
will shortly be given of it. 

The lowest beds of the district, the millstone grit, 
may easily be reached from Sheffield, as the lower 
coal measure belt of country is much narrower than 
usual due west of that town. Leaving Sheffield in a 
westerly direction by the Glossop road, the outcrop 
of the Silkstone coal is passed near the spot at which 
Cell Street crosses, and we are on lower coal measures. 
A gradual ascent in the same direction brings us to 
Stephen Hill, near which the fault, ranging north- 
east and south-west, crosses the road, which here 
divides the lower coal measures from the millstone 
grit. The road hitherto has been a gradual ascent, 
and is here about 774 feet above the level of the sea, 
the height of the alluvial flat of the Don at the 
Wicker being 150 feet. Hence a gentle descent of 
half a mile brings us to the edge of the Rivelin 
valley, and the brow of the fine escarpment of the 
Third Grit, which here is conspicuous on both sides 
of the valley, and which, though west of Bell Hagg, 
and a corresponding point on the north side, has its 
base 200 or 300 feet above the stream, soon descends 
to its level eastward at Little London Wheel. The 
nature of this coarse, massive grit and conglomerate 
is shown in Bell Hagg quarry. The view from this 
point is very wild and romantic. Few spots, if any, 
excel the Rivelin valley as an example of the influence 
of subaerial denudation in the erosion of river valleys, 
as we now see them, and the production of escarp- 
ments. I may here also remark, by the way, that 
few influences are likely to be more efficient in 
removing any notion that may linger in the mind as 
to the influence of faults in the production of river 
valleys than an inspection of the Geological Survey 
maps of coal measure districts, especially those of 
six inches to a mile. Of course, I do not mean that 
it will be found that faults never coincide with river 
valleys, but that they show no preference for them, 
and that the number of faults ranging along them is 

not, on the average, greater than in other parts of 
the map. 

The millstone grit is, about Sheffield, generally 
divided from the lower coal measures by faults. 
These lower coal measures are somewhat intermediate 
in character between the millstone grit and the 
middle coal measures. South of the Don and west 
of the Sheaf, the middle coal measures occupy less 
than a square mile of ground, this being the area 
between the Don, Sheaf, and Porter Brook, on which 
the chief business streets and buildings are situated. 
The lower coal measures occupy all the ground 
around the above area. On the south, west of Norfolk 
Park, about Heeley and Bannercross ; west, about 
Crookes and Crookes Moor, and, crossing the Don, 
a large area west of Pitsmoor is all lower coal 
measure ground. A short distance south-west of 
Sheffield, and north-east of Ecclesall Bierlow, may 
be seen the fine escarpment of Brincliffe Edge, the 
most striking of those of the lower coal measures in 
the immediate vicinity of Sheffield. Parallel to it, 
but nearer Sheffield, and consequently above it, is a 
sandstone, the escarpment of which, though clearly 
defined, is comparatively feeble. These two rocks 
are worth noting here, as they are the representatives 
of the two most important and persiitent sandstones 
of the lower coal measures. The Brincliffe Edge 
sandstone is known, north-west of Sheffield, as the 
Greenmoor Rock, and further north, again, as the 
Elland Flagstone. It is compact and fine-grained. 
The uppermost of the two sandstones (which forms 
Machon Bank) is known north-west of Sheffield as 
the Grenoside Rock. It is a rough gritty stone, and 
though not so persistent as the Greenmoor Rock, 
makes a much bolder escarpment, and covers much 
more ground, about Grenoside and Wortley. East 
of the Sheaf at Heeley it rapidly dies away. The 
variations in the relative preponderance of these two 
rocks in the landscape, and in the heights of the bases 
of their escarpments are very remarkable. 

North-west of Sheffield few excursions will repay 
the lover of geology and scenery better than one to 
Wharncliffe Crags. These crags are the escarpment 
of a rock of lower coal measure age lying below the 
Greenmoor and Grenoside rocks, which are a few 
hundred yards east of it, and maybe seen at the same 
time. Unlike them, however, the Wharncliffe rock 
sinks into insignificance a very short distance north 
and south of the crags, though at the crags it is a 
hard, massive, thick-bedded sandstone. The view 
westward from near Wharncliffe Lodge is very fine, 
and will not readily be forgotten. The Don runs 
several hundred feet below, but its course is almost 
invisible on account of the mass of verdure which fills 
the river valley as high as the foot of the crags, and 
contrasts with the high bare moorland beyond. It 
is also worth while to take a short walk eastward 
from the crags, and, crossing the Greenmoor Rock, 
here insignificant in appearance compared with the 



Grenoside beyond, to enjoy the view from the crest 
of the Grenoside escarpment over the rich but flatter 
country on the east towards Rotherham. 

Though at Wharncliffe Crags we are at the abode 
of the "Dragon of Wantley," the tale of whose 
destruction by More of More Hall, is familiar to 
readers of Percy's " Reliques," the geologically in- 
structed visitor will not expect to find a magnificent 
cavern in the sandstone at the spot where the words 
"Dragon's Den" appear on the map. All that 
exists is an open joint in the crag, large enough for 
the accommodation of a serpent, but not for that of 
an animal of any size provided with legs. The line of 
the ballad describing the locality 

" In Yorkshire, near fair Rotherham," 
gives us a glimpse of the relative importance of 
Sheffield and Rotherham at the time it was written, 
the distance of the " Dragon's Den " from Rotherham 
being rather greater than that from Sheffield ; it is 
the more noticeable as Sheffield was then, as now, a 
seat of the hardware manufacture : 

" But first he went, new armour to 
Bespeak at Sheffield town." 

No other lower coal measure rocks deserve notice in 
a sketch like this ; it will therefore be best now to 
proceed to consider the middle coal measures. 

A glance at the map (one inch) of the Geological 
Survey (82 N. W.) shows the strike (that is the 
direction of the lines of outcrop) of the middle coal 
measures, south of Sheffield, to be from north-west 
to south-east. But from Sheffield northward two 
great faults, throwing clown the measures between 
them, alter the strike of the beds so much that their 
outcrops are at right angles to their direction imme- 
diately south of Sheffield, viz. south-west and north- 
east, which is also the direction of the lines of fault. 
These two faults are known as the northerly and 
southerly Don faults. The northerly fault ranges 
from half to two-thirds of a mile west of the alluvium 
of the Don. The southerly fault is, roughly speaking, 
parallel to the northerly fault, and for some distance 
keeps on or close to the river and its alluvial flats. 
The Silkstone and Parkgate coals recover their former 
line of strike about three miles north of Sheffield, but 
some of the higher beds retain the strike induced by 
the faults for a much greater distance. The Parkgate 
coal lately mentioned is the first coal of any import- 
ance met with above the Silkstone, which is about 
300 feet below it. The Silkstone and Parkgate 
rocks, which overlie the coals so named, form, with 
the measures between them, the steep hillside east of 
the Sheaf, on top of which St. John's church stands, 
and may be traced in a south-easterly direction, 
towards Norfolk Park and Intake. From the top of 
this hillside, which is capped by the Parkgate rock, a 
fine view may be had both eastward and westward. 
From this point there is a gradual decrease, on the 
whole, in the average height of the sandstone ridges 
eastward, which continues till the magnesian lime- 

stone escarpment bounding the coalfield is reached. 
The red rock of Rotherham, however, imparts a 
more than average height to the strip of ground 
covered by it, and forms a more or less picturesque 
ingredient in the landscape, though it never attains 
a height that would be thought considerable in the 
lower coal measures. 

To reach the red rock from Sheffield it will be 
necessary to cross the outcrops of all the more im- 
portant coals lying above the Silkstone, among which 
may be mentioned, in ascending order, the Swallow 
Wood, Barnsley, and High Hazles coals, whose out- 
crops range north-west and south-east, in the tract of 
country between the Parkgate rock and the Rother. 

The red rock, as already mentioned, rests uncon- 
formably on the beds below, and is distinguished also 
from almost all other coal measure sandstones by its red 
or reddish colour. The only other exceptions to the 
uniformly buff, or whitish-brown tint of carboniferous 
sandstones, are found in a rock lying above the 
Wickersley Rock, in the neighbourhood of Brampton- 
en-le-Morthen, and in the Wickersley sandstone in 
Ravensfield Park. The Brampton Rock maybe seen 
at Sawn Moors and Pickles quarries. This red colour 
has never, I believe, been seen except, as in these 
cases, in rocks high up in the series. 

The red rock covers a strip of country of very 
variable width, though seldom more than a mile, 
between Rotherham and Harthill, south of Kiveton 
Park railway station. It is sometimes found in two 
beds, sometimes as one mass of sandstone. In the 
excavations made for the Rotherham water- works, 
near Ulley, irregular bands of red and purple shales 
were seen interstratified with it. Its total thickness 
must vary exceedingly. Its carboniferous age is 
shown in the cutting on the Midland railway, between 
Masborough and Eckington, about one and a half 
miles south of the former place. There a coal five 
inches thick, lying on twelve feet of sandstone of the 
ordinary coal measure type is seen resting on the 
red rock ; while, on the other hand, near Harthill, 
the Permian beds are seen lying unconformably above 
it. At Whiston a coal underlies the red rock, which 
is in all probability the Herringthorpe coal. But a 
mile north of Whiston the red rock, in two beds, is 
seen, judging from the dip, to underlie the Herring- 
thorpe coal. The probable explanation of this anomaly 
is given in the " Memoir" on the Yorkshire coalfield 
before alluded to. The red rock may "abut under- 
ground against the slope of a denuded hollow," about 
Herringthorpe. At Whiston, however, " the bottom 
of the trough is at a higher level than to the north of 
Herringthorpe, and the red rock is above the coal." 
At Aston the rock on which Treeton stands, and 
which may be called the Treeton rock, abuts against 
the red rock, having been gradually approaching it 
between Treeton and Aston. 

The general conclusion to which we are led by the 
above facts, and others which might be adduced, is 

I 2 



that the Red Rock fills up a great hollow excavated 
by denudation ; this hollow having a very variable 
and uneven bottom, and that it lies high in the coal 
measures, and is unconformable to the rocks below 
and above it. The Whitehaven sandstone of the 
Cumberland coalfield occupies probably an analogous 
position in its locality, and is also, compared with the 
other carboniferous sandstones about Whitehaven, a 
red or reddish rock. 

The red rock may be visited profitably either 
about Rotherham or at its southern end, near 
Kiveton Park railway station, at Harthill. From 
Kiveton Park station, the villages of north and south 
Anston with their magnesian limestone quarries, 
which supplied the stone for the Houses of Parlia- 
ment and the Jermyn Street Museum, may be easily 
visited. North of North Anston the spire of Laughton- 
en-le-Morthen is conspicuous on an outlier of 
magnesian limestone. A mile north-east of Laughton 

concerned — as it did when first erected. How much 
of this result is due to purity of air, and how much to 
careful selection of the stone, can hardly be ascer- 
tained by us now. 

South of Sheffield, the Midland Railway cuttings, 
both north and south of Dronfield, showed some very 
interesting coal measure sections ten years ago, when 
the line was first opened, and I had the advantage of 
visiting them while new, in the company of Professor 
A. H. Green. Should any railway-cutting excursion 
be practicable, those about Dronfield seem to me to 
deserve the first choice, though there is no want of 
interesting sections in the railways on other sides of 
the town. 

Once, some years ago, while waiting in a train 
outside the M. S. and L. railway station, and above 
the broad street called the Wicker, a fellow-passenger 
remarked, as he gazed down upon the street, "That 
would be a fine street if there were any fine buildings 

Red rock. 


Millstone Grit Fault Coal measures (Lower and middle). 

Fig. 135.— Section from a point a little west of Sheffield to the magnesian limestone escarpment. 

o o o o o o 

Red rock. 

Ordinary coal measures. 

\\w\>.\\>.«««»| Millstone grit. 

■T-TXnttt't I Magnesian limestone. 

brings us to the junction of the two beautiful glens at 
which the remains of Roche Abbey appear. Here 
two little streams unite and traverse the magnesian 
limestone escarpment. For the rivers in this part of 
Yorkshire, the Don, Went, Aire, and Wharfe, all 
show that apparent fondness for crossing escarpments 
characteristic of the streams taking their rise in the 
Wealden area, and doubtless their course has been 
similarly influenced. 

On approaching Rotherham, the visitor will not 
fail to notice the tree-clad hill at, and southward of, 
the town. It is crowned by red rock. The places 
near at which it may be profitably studied have been 
already mentioned. Continuing our journey towards 
Conisborough for the purpose of inspecting the upper 
coal measure plant beds, we again find ourselves close 
to the magnesian limestone escarpment, which is 
well seen for some miles at Conisborough, on the right 
hand, looking northward, and forms a part of one of 
the most beautiful views in the district. Besides a 
sight of the magnesian limestone in situ we have here 
a remarkable instance of its excellence as a building 
stone under favourable conditions. The venerable 
keep of Conisborough Castle, which is built of it, and 
is now about 800 years old, looks almost as fresh 
now— so far as absence of decay in the stone is 

in it " — an odd though true remark. A somewhat 
similar reflection will probably pass through the 
mind of almost every person who visits Sheffield for 
the first time ; he will think, "This would be a very 
fine town if there were any fine buildings in it." For 
the natural picturesqueness of the site of Sheffield is 
very great — second only perhaps to that of Edinburgh 
among British towns. Unfortunately its smokiness, 
the meanness of its public buildings, and indeed of 
the whole business part of the town, are still more 
difficult to parallel. The suburbs, however, are 
extremely pleasant, especially those to the west and 
south-west, and afford an abundance of fine prospects. 
A good view of the busy part of the town may be 
obtained from the neighbourhood of the M. S . and 
L. Station, looking, of course, southward. On the 
right is seen the main part of the town surrounding 
the old parish church, and standing mainly on the 
Silkstone rock which overlies the Silkstone coal. 
Farther westward, towards Crookes, are the lower 
coal measures, which at Crookes attain a height of 
about 800 feet above the sea, or about 650 feet above 
the alluvial flats of the Don and Sheaf. Looking, as 
we do, on the dip slopes of the various beds (the 
dip being from Crookes to the Sheaf) the fall is 
gradual and gentle. East of the Sheaf, however, we 
look not on a dip slope but on the escarpments made 
by the outcrops of the Silkstone and Parkgate rock, 
with the measures between them. Hence the contrast 
which must strike every visitor to Sheffield who sees it 
from this point of view, between the steepness of the 
eastern, and the easy slope of the western hillside. 





WITH the exception of chickweed, we have few 
plants so common as the groundsel {Senecio) 
and the dandelion [Taraxacum). These are our 
favourites, at least favourites for all bird fanciers, for 
they can be met with at every season of the year, but, 
like most other things which are of frequent occur- 
rence, they are liable to be overlooked by the busy 
student. Let us, however, bestow a passing thought 
on these universal species ; they assume so many 
forms and shapes as sometimes to be unrecognis- 
able, except to the prying botanist who has often cast 
a scrutinising glance upon them. 

Common groundsel {Senecio vulgaris (L.). We 
think it not needful to enter into a full description of 
this well-known species. Many of our readers must 
have noticed several well-marked forms ; it is to these 
we wish to direct attention. 

The type "vulgaris — proper" is about I foot high, 
often much branched, withpinnatifid, coarsely- toothed, 
and succulent leaves. 

Sir J. E. Smith describes a species, S. lividus, as 
closely allied to another species, S. sylvaticus (Linn.). 
This, however, never has auricles with the leaves ; our 
first variation from the above type should bear this 
name : 

Var. 1. Senecio lividus (Sm.). A much smaller plant 
than the type, with slender stem, and narrow leaves ; 
very often the flowers are solitary, although we 
commonly find it with about five. 

2. S. vulgaris (var. \J/). This is a remarkable plant, 
which appears to have escaped the attention of the 
authors of our "Floras." The leaves are all entire, 
lanceolate and with linear auricles. The plant has 
the resemblance of S. sylvaticus at a distance. It 
occurs near Penrith, also in several places along the 
banks of the river Eden. 

3. 6". vulgaris (var. /3). A very luxuriant form of 
the groundsel, occurs on rich loamy soils ; the leaves 
are broad, dark green, sometimes almost pinnate ; we 
however, believe this is not permanent. The variety 
is certainly reliable, for it comes true from seed. May 
we beg our botanical collectors to keep one eye open 
during their rambles for the Senecio. 

The poor dandelion has been more highly honoured, 
for it has had as many names almost as a Spanish 
grandee ; here it is known as Taraxacum, there we 
see it Leontodon. In the " Student's Flora " the older 
name is used, Taraxacum officinale (Wig.). No 
common species yields so many varieties as this ; 
for example we find : 

1. T. Dens-leonis (Desf.). Leaves bright green, 
broadly runcinate, outer bracts of the involucre 

2. T. erythrospermum (Andr.). Leaves dark green, 
often glaucous, outer bracts spreading. 

3. T. Icevigatum (DC). Leaves dull green, pinnatifid, 
or cut up into linear segments, generally small, or 
about 3 or 4 inches in length. 

4. T.palustre (DC). Leaves, when in rich soil, entire 
and deeply- toothed. 

The above are all easily recognised ; nay, speaking 
with a learned botanist from Narbonne, he pointedly 
declared his conviction that Nos. 2 and 3 were good 
species. The flowers differ so little from the normal 
form that I do not think they are reliable as charac- 
ters, although Babington seems to depend much 
upon the outer bracts ; however, flowers can be 
found where the bracts vary widely on the same plant. 
The leaves preserve the same peculiar shape under all 
circumstances ; I can with every confidence rely upon 
them. T. Icevigatum are very peculiar, being cut to 
the midrib into long linear leaflets. The opposite 
extreme is seen in T. pahistre ; here the leaves are in 
some examples quite entire, whilst the rich emerald- 
green tint of T. Dens-leonis can seldom be equalled. 
Taking it all in all, I know no species so full of in- 
terest. In my British herbarium I have about ten 
sheets filled with this species. 

J. F. R. 


UNDOUBTEDLY many visitors to the British 
Association meeting at Sheffield will avail 
themselves of the neighbourhood of the Peak (only 
some twenty miles away) to explore its wonderfully 
lovely dales and caverns. We extract the following 
account of the "Speedwell Cavern," at Castleton, 
from " Geological Essays, and Sketch of the Geology 
of Manchester and the Neighbourhood," by J. E. 
Taylor (published in 1864). 

The entrance to the " Speedwell " mine is by a 
door in the hillside, strongly reminding one of that 
which Bunyan mentions in his " Pilgrim's Progress," 
as shown to Christian by the shepherds. In at this 
door one starlight night in February, some four or 
five of us entered, each laden with a wardrobe of 
miners' clothing wherewith to bedeck ourselves. 
Entering at the cottage by the side of the cavern, in 
which the guide usually lives, we found a cheerful fire 
burning. We speedily converted this into a dressing 
room, and then turned out in anything but a photo- 
graphicable condition. I may, observe, however, 
that the cavern itself, the "Speedwell" mine, does 
not require this trouble at the hands of ordinary 
visitors. It is, as the handbills advertise, " quite 
clean and fit for ladies to visit." There is also an 
intelligent guide to accompany them, and to point 
out various objects worthy of remark. Entering in 
at the door by the hillside, we descended a flight of 
upwards of a hundred steps, and at the bottom, to 
our astonishment, found a boat ready to row us along 
a subterranean passage in which was about three feet 
of water. There was just sufficient room to sit upright 



in the boat without knocking our heads against the 
top ; and along this passage we were rowed for a 
distance of nearly half a mile, lighting the way as we 
went by sticking candles against the wall. When 
we had gone some distance from the place of embark- 
ation we looked behind us and the reflection of the 
lights in the still water was beautiful, reminding one 
more than anything else of a long street lit up by gas. 
This is the passage which was literally hewn out by 
the muscle and sinews of the miners in their search 
after lead ; and we could see one or two thin veins of 
that metal crossing the cavern transversely. The 
stillness, at first, seemed almost unearthly, especially 
when we coupled with its effect the remembrance 
that it was night. But, by-and-by, we could hear a 
faint droning sound. On asking whence it came, we 
were told to our astonishment, that it was caused by 
the water upon which we were sailing falling over a 
cataract into what is called the "bottomless pit." 
As we proceeded, the noise increased until at length 
we had to speak in a different note in order to hear 
each other. We were so completely interested with 
the uproar that we did not notice the boat had 
stopped, until one of the company drew our attention 
to it. A large rock had impeded our course, and to 
it we moored the boat when we had landed. Raising 
our candles over our heads we perceived a mighty 
cavern, whose darkness our feeble lights only seemed to 
render more obscure. On each side, high as we could 
look up, huge rocks hung over, as though ready to 
topple on our heads with the least disturbance. 

But the sight was inexpressibly grand when, after 
lighting a rocket, the hissing and blazing torch mounted 
upwards for more than three hundred feet without 
reaching the top. As it ascended, the darkness below 
became more and more palpable, and the dazzling 
light above our heads revealed a similar arrangement 
of rock masses to those which we could see below by 
the faint light of our candles. The whole effect was 
most striking, and had much of the character which 
Martin has thrown into his wonderful picture of the 
" Great Day of His Wrath." I shall never forget it ; 
that sight has haunted my imagination scores of 
times since. But we now turn our attention to the 
falling volumes of water as they dashed over the 
precipice. This is protected by a strong iron "rail- 
ing;" and a dazzling "Roman light" held over 
showed us a yawning chasm, into which the seething 
waters hurried themselves. We could not see the 
bottom, although it is known that a communication 
exists between this and the " Peak cavern," a mile 
away, for sawdust thrown into this stream has been 
carried out by the rivulet which flows from the latter 
cavern. These sights are those usually shown to 
visitors, and well are they worthy of visitation ; for 
it is seldom that such great natural phenomena are to 
be found within so short a distance. But, as we 
passed along by the tunnel to the cavern I have 
mentioned, we had noticed several small passages 

branching out on our right hand, and now we returned 
to make our explorations in them. 

Nobody had entered them for years, and we were 
making the experiment for the sake of obtaining some 
rare minerals, which, we had been told, were found 
on the walls. Each of us was armed with hammers, 
and with our "toilette" of miner's clothing, were 
well prepared to "rough" it. So, in returning, we 
stopped at the mouth of the right-hand passage, 
called the " Half-way House," and fastened the boat 
firmly to the rock — for had it chanced to drift away 
we should have had a quarter of a mile to wade 
through a stream three or four feet deep, whilst the 
owner would have had to perform the same feat 
right to the other end to bring it back. As we got 
out of the boat we had about a foot of water to wade 
through, along a narrow and dripping passage, for 
about a hundred yards, cramping our backs with the 
constant bending. We were relieved at the end by 
being able to stand erect in a vast rent in the rocks, 
extending so far above our heads that the dim light 
of our candles could not enable us even to guess its 
height. Between the walls of this fissure, which was 
three or four feet across, there were bars of wood 
placed to serve as staves, and fastening our hammers 
in our belts and sticking our lights in our hats, we 
mounted up one after the other. It was a somewhat 
dangerous task, for the bars of wood had been placed 
there for more than thirty year;, and were now rotten 
from the constant moisture to which they had been 
subjected, so that if the leading man had made a false 
step and tumbled down, he would have sent us all 
before him like a set of skittles. At last, after 
mounting some hundred feet or more, we reached the 
top, and found a passage similar to the one along 
which we had waded, extending in a westerly direc- 
tion. Along this we made our way with bended 
backs, with the clanger of breaking our shins over an 
old waggon, which had been left by the miners years 
ago. Here we could see the lead vein crossing the 
path, the matrix in which it occurred being filled with 
cawk or sulphate of barytes in an uncrystallised 

Farther on, the passage was so narrow that we had 
to crawl on our knees among mud and debris ; all 
this labour being abundantly recompensed by dis- 
covering that, a little further, the masses of rock were 
covered with crystals of carbonate of lime of various 
sizes and forms, but chiefly of the " dog-tooth " shape. 
These presented the appearance of having been 
dusted with loaf sugar, owing to smaller crystals 
having been formed upon them. Here we obtained 
some magnificent specimens, the most curious being 
a dog-tooth crystal of calcite, with a cubic one of fluor, 
perfectly blue, mounted on the very apex. Standing 
out in relief were numerous fossils, long jointed stems 
of Encrinites, shells of Spirifera, Orthocera, and a 
host of others. Already the weight behind had 
bulged out the front part, and the whole seemed as 



though it only needed one of the foot-stones to be 
loosened for it to come thundering; down. But if 
nothing else had repaid our labours, certainly the 
sight of the magnificent cavern into which we now 
entered, did so most amply. When we had all got 
together, we looked around us, and the surrounding 
scenery was most impressive. The wide vault, hid 
by the blackest darkness above our heads, the masses 
of rock at our feet, made us feel like pigmies when 
gazing upon this work of nature. The effect was 
more striking when we burnt a Bengal light, which 
threw out the light and shade of the overhanging 
masses into splendid relief: the thousands of crystals 
of various shapes and colours, which reflected the 
dazzling light in a thousand coruscations, left us 
almost speechless with astonishment and delight. 
After attempting to make our way in other directions 
we had to give up, owing to the passages narrowing 
so much as to prevent us even from crawling along. 
In fact, all the hills hereabout are quite hollow, and 
the subterranean passages extend for miles, widening 
and narrowing alternately as they run along. De- 
scending in safety we found the boat moored as we 
had left it, and another quarter of an hour brought 
us into the clear starlight. 

By Mrs. Tilt. 

IN answer to the question that has been asked in 
your columns as to the best means of founding a 
rookery, I can mention an instance in which a large 
one was established by the kindness shown to a 
solitary rook one severe winter. For many years it 
had been our great ambition to have a rookery ; there 
were several large ones in other parts of Cheshire, 
and what was considered to be the mother-rookery 
was about two miles from us. The keeper had 
obtained rooks' eggs, placed them in nests in tall 
trees thought likely to attract them, but all to no 
purpose. But one severe winter there came regularly 
every day, with some pet bantams that were fed by the 
house-keeper out of the window, a solitary rook and fed 
with them, becoming at last so tame as to hop on the 
window-sill. In the spring this tame rook brought a 
mate, and together they began to build in a small 
Spanish chestnut tree, so close to the house that from 
the upper windows we could see quite into the nest. 
It made great excitement watching the progress of 
this nest, as it is considered to bring good luck to a 
house when rooks build near it. The nest was about 
half finished, when, one morning, a great noise was 
heard, and we saw about a dozen strange rooks 
violently attacking the old pair, and tearing the nest 
to pieces. They did not attempt to build again that 
year, but the next spring the same thing occurred. 
They got so far as to lay their eggs, when the female 
bird was suddenly attacked one morning when she 

was sitting by a dozen and more of rooks, and the 
noise was such as to collect the whole household to 
watch the battle. She made a stout defence, and it 
was some time before they beat her off the nest, 
dashing it with its contents to the ground. This was 
repeated a third year, when we began to despair of 
having our rookery, but on consulting a book on 
natural history we found it stated that it was generally 
four years before a pair were allowed to establish 
themselves independently from the mother rookery. 
At all events it was so in this case, for the following 
year they not only brought up a brood of young birds 
without being molested, but each year after the nests 
in the same tree increased in number, and eventually 
they spread to other trees close by. It was so far 
satisfactory to have established our rookery, but un- 
fortunately, the grateful rook had chosen the nearest 
tree to the window where he had been fed, and their 
close vicinity to the house proved at last so objection- 
able that it was found necessary to drive them further 
off, by gradually cutting down the trees they had 
chosen. With the curious instinct that rooks are 
supposed to have with regard to trees that are 
destined to come down, though they were left in 
peaceful possession of the original tree they had 
chosen, and which had nine nests in it, they wisely 
left it, and established themselves in a clump of large 
trees at a more convenient distance. Every year after 
this the rookery increased in size, and in the space of 
ten years, from the time the parent birds made their 
first attempt to build, the rookery has grown so large 
that we have been advised to shoot some of them in 
the spring, for fear the rooks, "becoming too nume- 
rous," should fight and break up the colony. 

This is only one more instance of the power of man 
over animals, and shows that the secret of that power 
is kindness. 

By P. Q. Keegan, LL.D. 

A STRANGE, odd, fantastic, eccentric appear- 
ance or deportment exhibited on the part of a 
human being, or by one of the lower animals, is, 
under ordinary ciu.. nstances, if not pitifully, at least 
ludicrously interesting. We are deeply conscious 
that something is wrong somewhere or somehow, 
that the ordinary rules and dispensations of nature 
are, in this instance, violated or replaced, their pro- 
visions unduly restricted, or inordinately and ab- 
surdly overstrained, and the contrast thus furnished, 
being generally striking, our risible faculties are 
excited, and we indulge in a burst of laughter. 
Sometimes in the midst of an accompaniment of 
differences, we perceive a strange resemblance to 
some external object. Thus, for instance, when we 
witness the pranks, gambols, and extravagances of a 
monkey, we all the while perceive therein a certain 

i 7 6 


resemblance to the human face, hands, and facial 
expression, but qualifying this, we observe, at the 
same time, fundamental diversities in respect of 
shape, colouring, speech, posture, etc. 

But independently of such resemblances and other 
relations to foreign objects, sundry animals possess 
certain curious appendages which, either by reason of 
their excessive and disproportionate size, or of their 
uncommon shape, colouring, etc., inevitably excite 
our laughter. Just in the same manner as we jeer 
and laugh at the drolleries, comicalities, and eccen- 
tricities of a clown in the circus, or of a comedian on 
the stage, so do we feel amused and exhilarated with 
certain extraordinary appearances, etc., on the part 
of animals ; the extraordinary-looking beaks of the 

Fig. 136. — The Puffin (Fratcrcula arctica). 

toucans, the hornbills, curlews, etc., seem out of all 
proportion to the size and apparent requirements of 
these birds. So likewise the long, lank necks and 
shanks of the cranes, herons, etc., are provocative of 
merriment, especially when we observe them erect on 
some desolate sea-shore, as if fixed in thought — in a 
"brown study," with the head poked out forwards in 
a curious "contemplative" attitude. 

Some singular fidgety deportment, some extra- 
ordinary aspect of eye or countenance, denoting in 
either case an unnatural, unhealthy excitement, or 
even an abnormal suppression of animal force, is 
often very ludicrous to behold. A bird performs 
some operation (such as that of incubating) with an 
amount of gravity and an air of importance utterly 
disproportionate to the consequence or influence 
thereof in the economy of nature. During the breed- 
ing season the Common Guillemot may be observed 
upon the extremity of some protuberant ledge of rock 
perched upon a single egg, in such a manner as if the 

whole economy of the world depended upon the 
issue of the process. There is a knowing look, too, 
about certain animals which is equally interesting. 
Thus we often say of a certain cat or dog, that he is 
very wise or knowing-looking. Certain attitudes 
assumed, or certain movements executed are also 
irresistibly funny. A young kangaroo popping its 
head and tail out of its mother's pouch, or vaulting 
nimbly therein from the ground, furnishes an un- 
doubtedly ludicrous spectacle. 

Within the necessarily restricted limits of a paper 
of this description, it would be idle to endeavour to 


Fig. 137. — The Common Guillemots (Uria troile). 

investigate the primary or fundamental cause of the 
aforesaid eccentricities. Nevertheless, in a general 
way we declare, that just in the same manner as a 
violent disturbance, or an undue depression of animal 
or nerve force occasions the extravagant deportment, 
opinions, and feelings of insanity, so this same excite- 
ment and depression, when manifested in a less marked 
degree, induces the less momentous and intense form 
of oddity now adverted to. Sea-birds, as a rule, are 
not particularly odd or funny-looking, either as re- 
spects their appearance or their conduct. Neverthe- 
less, there occur very odd and singular creatures 
amongst them, some of which, and in the first place, 



the Puffin {Fratercula arctica), I shall now proceed to 

Shortly after the occurrence of the vernal equinox, 
when azure skies and exhilarating gales betoken the 
advent of spring, away, far out upon the deep, where 
some desolate, wave-worn islet or islanded cliff towers 
above the waves, or fast by some dreary sea-shore, 
flanked by a tall, beetling armoury of inaccessible 
rocks, vast bands of sea-birds assiduously prosecute 
their breeding duties. Xot surmounting all the seats 
of the assembled congeners, but ranged in a modest 
position about the middle of the cliff, there may 

138.— The Black Guillemots (Uria gryllej. 

readily be discerned a lengthy array of curious 
perforations, somewhat resembling an extensive 
rabbit warren. These are the breeding resorts of the 
comical little Puffin. Externally everything would 
seem to be in comparative repose ; but just let anybody 
try the experiment of thrusting his bare hand into one 
of these holes, and he will have ample reason to 
repent of the proceeding, for assuredly he will receive 
a sharp bite from a most formidable, eccentrically- 
shaped bird beak. Presently the body of the bird to 
which this curious appendage belongs, will appear 
and assume a threatening attitude towards the 
invader of its chosen haunt. 

The Puffin is about a foot in length, with black 

wings and back ; a black collar round the throat ; 
white cheeks, chin and breast ; orange legs, blackish- 
brown claws, a